The risk of STEC contamination in wild venison

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We have published this report to address knowledge gaps and better understand the risk of STEC (Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli) contamination of wild venison.

The report is based on three core objectives to:

  • map the venison industry in Scotland
  • assess STEC prevalence in wild deer faeces in Scotland
  • review cross-contamination risks in the slaughter and processing stages of wild deer from the field to larder

Although the prevalence of STEC O157 in wild deer is low, the report found that when discovered, it is the strain associated with the most severe forms of human disease. Therefore, adherence to strict hygiene practices from cull to final product are strongly recommended within the report.

The venison industry continues to take a cooperative and responsible approach to STEC O157 when found, working to better understand the risks in the sector and how to mitigate them in the interest of public health protection.

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