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I have a question for those that process their own wild game meat.  I thought I read it somewhere that you need to freeze the meat to kill the bacteria before you grind.  I have processed my own game this way for the past 10 years but i was hoping to maybe try grinding the meat as we de-bone the dear this year.  I understand that partially frozen meet grinds much better but I am more concerned about bacteria growth.  I can't seem to find an answer with a google search.

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Freezing meat does not kill bacteria, it just renders it inactive preventing its growth.  The only way to kill bacteria is by cooking to a high enough temp. 

Assuming safe handling conditions your meat will have the same amount of bacteria in it whether you grind right away or freeze it first. The only benefit from freezing it that it grinds a little easier, and it doesn't even need to be totally frozen to grind better.

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You are correct about freezing not killing the bacteria and just slowing it down.  I should have worded it differently.  I was wondering if most  people freeze the meat before grinding.   So in your opinion a guy should be safe grinding right after de-boning?  

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I usually grind right away then freeze if I want some burger.  No problems in 40 years. I like the quart freezer ziplok bags. 1 or 2 pounds and then I just squeeze the air out and zip shut. Squish them flat for easy storage. 

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1 hour ago, Blackhawkxp said:

You are correct about freezing not killing the bacteria and just slowing it down.  I should have worded it differently.  I was wondering if most  people freeze the meat before grinding.   So in your opinion a guy should be safe grinding right after de-boning?  

I've done it both ways, just depends when I have time to grind.  Sometimes I've done it right away after butchering because thats when I had the free time.  Other times I bag up the trimmings and freeze it for grinding later.  Either should be totally safe.  I do prefer grinding it when frozen but only because it tends to grind a little better.

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Thanks for the input.  I just dont want to get anyone sick so i figured i would ask.  My son and I usually get stuck doing most of the parties processing so i was hoping that the rest of the group would be able to take part in the mess this year.  Clean up is the worst!

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If you end up doing all of it again this year then i assume you're in charge of getting the right packs back to everyone.  I'd probably take out a few packs of ground from everyone as a payment. 

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Partially froze makes it easy to burn off any hairs on the meat and easier cutting and trimming and grinding. Also easier to cut steaks the same thickness all the way threw. Doesn't make it easier to remove the hide though.

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I ground it as time allows. Some years it's right away and others it isn't.

I have gotten in the habit when I do grind, to weight it out in 5 or 10 lb lots and then vacuum seal it so when I want to make a batch of sausage, sticks etc, that I can just take out what I need and it's ready to go. 

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yep, What I don't grind I ziplok 5 to 7 pounds trim and freeze also. Grind later or take to St Joe to get sausage or sticks. Burn off/  I have never done that. I pick it all off. Never have ground partially frozen either. Got the blades resharpened last year on my very old oster and its just like new. :):) Butchering a young buck for a friend but back is messed up so taking a while. 

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If I don't do it right away it seems like it doesn't get done. I cutting and grinding tomorrow after 3 days of hang time. I ordered 20 pounds of 80/20 ground beef for mixing. I'll mix it about 50/50 and package it in 1 pound packages in bags then freezer paper. I always grind thawed because it's not as cold to mix with my hands.

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