Saturday, August 30, 2008

Venison Cooking Safety Tips

Venison Cooking Safety Tips

  • Always cook venison well done. Cook ground meat and cube steaks until the juices run clear. Roast should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160° F. Steaks should be cooked to at least a light pink internal color.
  • Use care with utensils and dishes. Raw meat juices may contain bacteria. Never put cooked meat back on a tray or platter that has not been washed with soap and warm water.
  • Wash your hands well after handling raw meat.
  • Pregnant women may want to check with their obstetrician before eating venison. Certain diseases are carried in wild game that may cause problems in pregnancy.
  • Like any meat, an offensive odor or "sticky" surface feel indicates raw meat might be spoiled.
Michael C.

Friday, August 29, 2008

What You Can Do To Keep Your Venison Safe

Your part of the commitment...

  • Think about the quality of your venison even before you make the kill. Gut shot deer often need extensive trimming that wastes valuable meat. A shot that is in the hams limits your usable venison. Michael says, "Real men shoot 'em between the eyes!"
  • Bring the deer to us as quickly as possible. The sooner it's washed and chilled the better. In late summer, don't wait more than an hour or two. Even for short periods of time, protect the carcass from flies and gnats.
  • If you field dress your deer, keep the carcass cool. Filling the body cavity with ice chills the meat quickly. A large clean trash can with a tight fitting lid can hold a carcass on ice for several hours.
  • Dirt, leaves, hair and stomach contents can introduce bacteria to your venison. If you skin and clean your deer, wash the carcass with clean water. We will not allow you to eat contaminated meat. If there is any sign of debris or spoilage, we will actively trim your meat. You will be wasting your money and your meat. You will only get back edible, clean and safe meat from Cordray's.
  • Think about where you do your cutting if you or your club cuts up the carcass. Prepare the surface by washing or covering with a clean trash bag. Use clean knives and wash them after the skinning process and before cutting up pieces. Wash your hands after every step. NEVER transport skinned unwrapped carcasses in an open truck bed. If you wouldn't put your sandwich on it, don't put your deer meat on it!
  • Freezer burn will damage venison. If you freeze the venison before processing, carefully wrap it in air tight wrapping. Many people do an excellent job by wrapping their deer in several layers of plastic grocery bags. We'll take frozen meat only until Sept. 14th. After that, we are overwhelmed with fresh meat and have to stop taking frozen meat until after Jan. 10th.
Michael C.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Making a Commitment to Safety

At Cordray's we strive to help you get the most from your deer. Over the last 16 years, we have continued to add safety features to ensure the proper handling of your meat. Because venison is harvested differently than beef and pork products, our safety and handling procedures must be more diligent than your standard butcher shop.

Our part of the commitment to your safety...

  1. Our Number One priority is to provide for your safe and edible venison. Because of that, there are times we will refuse to process a deer that is diseased, in poor condition, or has been mishandled in the field. Since cooked products are batched (many orders put together), we allow only the very best meat to be added to smoked products. When you visit our facility, you will see that we stress cleanliness and safety in every phase of processing. We will not take chances with our name or your health.

  2. We will skin, wash and chill your deer to 34°F to help protect the venison. Our coolers are monitored constantly for temperature control. No unskinned carcasses are hung in our coolers, so the risk of contamination from hair, fecal matter, ticks and lice ends in the skinning room.

  3. All your ground meat is ground with a grinder equipped with bone extractors that catch lead shot and bone chips as the meat is ground. Our meat cutters are trained to check and recheck all cuts for possible bullet fragments. Please be sure to tell us if you know of a missing arrow or blades.

  4. Equipment cleanup is handled with high pressure steam sprayers and anti- bacterial washing.

  5. Our smoked products are electronically monitored to ensure adequate cooking time and temperature. All products reach an internal temperature of 165°F to reduce the danger of E. Coli, listeria and other pathogens.

  6. Members of our staff have attended training in safe meat handling and safety through Clemson University and the American Association of Meat Processors.

Michael C.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Double!

We had another double last night. Scott Jolley bagged two nine points. Both of them were completely out of velvet. Click on the title link above to see more Big Buck pictures.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ever seen a fainting goat?

No, we don't eat them or sell them for meat or milk them to make cheese. They're just for fun. Our goats will eat out of your hand, and walk on your feet, and eat your shrubbery and flowers, and tear open your garbage cans, and chew on your pockets. But they are entertaining! And some are looking for new homes. No one told us that goats replicate like rabbits! If you'd like a goat, some faint, some don't, for a pet - not for dinner - let me know!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Big Buck Leader!

Last night we had a new Big Buck Record Breaker. Gedney Howe, IV, brought in this big buck. It had a dressed weight of 125.4 lbs. This buck was in velvet, but had already begun to rub it off. Over the weekend the velvet to clean ratio was about 50/50. People reported seeing bucks together with some in velvet and some clean. Click on the title above to see the history of the Record Breaker Contest. We've got pictures of the biggest bucks of the year all the way back to 1998. We are missing 99, 2000, and 2001 from our pre-digital days. If you won the contest in those years, dig out an old photo and send it in. In those days, the winner won their processing fee back. Now if you have the biggest local buck processed at Cordray's, you will win an engraved Remington 870 shotgun. Biggest ever was taken last year. Click below to post a comment, tell us who won in 99, 00, or 01 or to report on what you're seeing out there this year.