How To Tell If Deer Meat Is Spoiled | How Can You Tell If Deer Meat Has Gone Bad

Unlike beef, the venison or deer meat has a gamey or earthy taste as it eats grasses, sedges, tree shoots, etc. The brownish-red deer meat has a distinct taste and can be transformed into any savory meal. 

Deer meat can be taken as a naturally healthy diet as it’s a grass-fed and open-raised animal. It contains less cholesterol and more vitamins, including iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

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It is also rich in vitamins B6 and B12, riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin. However, to tell if deer meat is spoiled before and after cooking, we must be aware of the temperature of the meat, the distance between hunting and storing time, the preservation temperature in both refrigerator and freezer, etc. 

Moreover, deer meat can be identified as fresh or spoiled by the meat’s color, distinctive off-smell, and damp and sticky texture. As meat is one of the most required protein sources for the human body, the proper handling and safe storing of this meat must be ensured for healthy consumption.

How to Tell If Deer Meat Is Spoiled Before Cooking

We can tell if the deer meat is spoiled before cooking by its changed color and flavor. The usual color of deer meat is brownish red, looks tight in fiber, and feels smooth in texture. 

If deer meat is left longer outside, it will start changing its color. The outer layer of the deer meat turns dark brown. Greenish or blackish patches will appear over it. 

Also, if it smells strong, like sewage odor, it means it has started to rote. The blood in the meat is the main reason for this spoilage. The microorganisms present in the blood start quick bacterial growth and increase the rancidity rate in the meat.

Check Time between Deer Hunted and Serving

It’s very common that hunters or butchers wait a few hours after a deer is being hunted or shot. This is because the blood of the butchered animal needs to be drained out properly. 

The blood inside the deer can build fast microbial growth, which will start to loosen the fat and protein to come off if the time between deer is hunted and serving is longer.

One needs to check the time between deer hunted and serving just after the deer is killed for meat. As deer has a gamey or earthy taste, it requires a good cleaning of the fat, connective tissue, silver skin, bone, and hair while processing. 

Any unwanted strong flavors identified in the deer meat might be for insufficient bleeding, late in field dressing, or inability to cool the carcass immediately.

So, it’s very wise to clean the skin and process the deer as soon as it bleeds out and cools down completely. For faster cooling, the deerskin needed to be cleaned and hung up from the ground. 

Remember the temperature of the ground is also a variable. So, if the air temperature is 50 degrees F, then we have three to six hours in hand. 

If the temperature is higher than that, then we must act faster and put in an effort to start processing the carcass shortly. The time between deer hunted and served must not be longer than six hours if not refrigerated or frozen.

Check the Inner Temperature

The inner temperature of a killed deer must be at 40 degrees if one wants it to keep out of faster decomposition. Usually, the body temperature of a gazing deer at rest is 101 degrees F. 

But if the deer is running and gets shot, its temperature can be elevated to 5 more degrees. However, any increased temperature is harmful to the meat after it’s killed. 

The Bacteria can start multiplying in temperatures of 70 to 120 degrees. So, to stop or limit spoilage of the deer meat, it’s important to check the inner temperature below or at 40 degrees. 

The deer carcass must be kept under shade, cut open in a cooler place, or kept at 40 degrees F until further processing. Otherwise, the microorganisms in the blood will quickly start reproducing and spoil the deer meat. 

Observe the Smell

Besides the exterior of the meat and inner temperature, the smell of the bad deer meat is easily detectable. If the question comes about how bad deer meat smells like, we can say it stinks like sewage. 

The pungent smell hits immediately when you open the packet or put your nose closer to the deer meat. It discloses the fact that it’s no longer safe to consume. 

This happens because the Microorganisms in the meat facilitate proteins and fats to break down, deteriorating the freshness of the meat to a condition that it’s no longer safe to eat.

Look at the Texture and Color of Deer Meat

The texture and the color of bad deer meat is darker red or greenish-black. If the fresh deer meat is kept under the sun, it will look shiny and firm. 

But if it’s kept over 5o degrees F the color will soon lose its darker red look and turn into dark brown or greenish-black. Also, the fiver in the meat will be spoiled and get a greenish-black tint. The bad meat will get a soggy and sticky slimy texture than before. 

Touch the Outside of Deer Meat

Deer meat feels smooth in fresh condition. If lights reflect on fresh deer meat, it looks shiny and bright. The deer meat starts to discharge blood and water at or above 50 degrees F. 

At that temperature, it starts melting and looks wet and gives a slimy feel. There are high chances that the deer meat will decompose soon if not taken under immediate concern. 

How Do You Know When Deer Meat Is Bad After Cooking 

Bad deer meat will give a sour and putrid odor while cooking. The smell will have a sharp odor distinguishable from any fresh one. If your kitchen is too hot above 50 degrees to 70 degrees F, your meat can get bad also after cooking. 

This temperature is a host for bacterial rapid reproduction rate. It has been found in research that bacteria can be doubled within every twenty minutes in a warm, humid environment.

Also, mold can develop on the cooked meat if kept in a hotter environment. Sometimes, if it’s kept longer in the refrigerator it will get a fuzzy look showing it’s got toxic elements grown over it. 

Also, if you sniff a particular scent like sulfuric odor or even ammonia, you just know that your meat has gone bad even after cooking.

How Much Time Deer Meat Can Stay In Refrigerator Or Cooler

If kept in a refrigerator or cooler, deer meat can be kept fresh for more than three to five days. It can be kept good for three to six months in the freezer. 

In some cases, people observed that deer meat sometimes remained good even after two years in the freezer. But the taste might be affected by this long storing time in the freezer. To consume fresh eating sooner is better. 

What Does Look Like Spoiled Deer Meat

Spoiled deer meat will have a greenish shade over it, instead dark brown color. The discoloration is the first thing that anyone notices on bad deer meat.

As deer meat is rich in protein and fat contents, if this meat stays longer over 50 degrees temperature, the lipid oxidation process starts in the presence of air, moisture, and light. 

It’s a complicated process where fatty acids and oxygen interact chemically, and the meat starts to deteriorate its sensory quality, such as color, texture, and flavor. Due to this, we notice grayish-green or blackish tints with a metallic hue on the bad deer meat.

How Can You Prevent Deer Meat from Spoiling After Hunting Deer

There are three factors that affect the meat’s quality after hunting a deer. The factors are temperature, moisture in the air, and storing process. 

If a hard-run deer is shot in the gut and left for a while in warm weather, the gut bacteria will soon be multiplied into uncontrollable numbers and start to decompose the meat. 

As mentioned above, the deer carcass needs to cool down faster, cutting into desired pieces, and keep in a cooler over ice or refrigerated soon for fresh meat accumulation. 

This will keep the deer fresh for three to five days. But for longer preservation, it must be kept in the freezer in the right storage bags. 

What Happens If You Eat Bad Deer Meat

Eating bad deer meat will cause food poisoning. The bacteria already formed in the bad meat will infect the digestive system and cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems. 

This process of food poisoning can start within thirty minutes to three weeks after we take rancid meat. Some people will get uncomfortable tummy aches or nausea faster than others due to their individual physical condition.

FAQ

  • How Long After Eating Bad Deer Meat Will You Get Sick

Symptoms of nausea and vomiting can start from 30 minutes to three weeks after eating bad deer meat. In some cases, this infection time can vary from about one to three days. 

  • What if your deer meat is spoiled

If deer meat gets spoiled, just toss it. Rancid meat has pathogenic toxins which cannot be killed even after cooking. Some bacteria may release toxins, even cooked or boiled. There is no reason to eat rotten meat and get infected.

  • Will deer meat spoil at 50 or 60 degrees?

Yes, deer meat will start to spoil at 50 or 60 degrees. It’s better if the internal temperature can be kept below 40 degrees and frozen below 0 degrees F as soon as possible. 

It can be refrigerated for three to five days before cooking without any hazards. To avoid any pathogenic contamination like bacteria or toxins, the deer meat must be soon moved to a freezer.

  • How long does it take for deer meat to spoil

It takes eight to twelve hours for deer meat to get spoiled if kept over 50-degree hot temperatures. If the temperature is not too humid or rainy, then it’s good for the meat. 

Again if the temperature is cooler, then it can be kept outside for more than 24 hours. To be on the safe side, the deer meat should be refrigerated or frozen as soon as possible. 

  • How long can raw deer meats be left at room temperature?

Raw deer meat can stay two hours at room temperature. And there must be a shift to a cooler place below 40 degrees F sooner. To ensure longer acceptance, deer meat must be shifted to a fridge or freezer with standard packaging.  

  • How long do raw deer meats last in the freezer?

Usually, raw deer meat lasts nine to twelve months in the freezer. People sometimes observed that it remained good for more than two years in the freezer. 

However, the taste might be affected. It’s better to eat it early as the meat will get dry for a longer storing time and develop an unpleasant taste.

Conclusion

Deer meat is an excellent source of proteins and several important vitamins and minerals. It can be chosen as a healthy diet as it’s low in fat, sodium, and zero carb contents. This meat can be used for any form of culinary endeavor like beef and other red meats. 

Besides the fact that it’s less succulent than beef, it has been in most people’s dietary choice for its distinguished flavor and texture. To get maximum nutrition and benefits from this delicate meat, we must be aware of all the related factors which affect the deer meat spoilage. 

Handling meat before and after cooking must be kept in sole concern following the right temperature and proper storing techniques during the deer meat processing. In brief, safe and sound food handling can reduce blood-borne pathogenic contamination and keep us out of health hazards. 

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