Risk Assessment of Wild Game Meat Intake in the Context of the Prospective Development of the Venison Market in Poland
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Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Quality Science, Gdynia Maritime University, Morska 81-87, 81-225 Gdynia
Dominika Mesinger   

Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Quality Science, Gdynia Maritime University, Morska, 81-87, 81-225, Gdynia, Poland
Submission date: 2020-02-15
Final revision date: 2020-05-25
Acceptance date: 2020-06-27
Online publication date: 2020-10-06
The goal of this work is the critical analysis of premises influencing the concerns typically expressed by Polish consumers over the safety of venison. Risk factors which are indicated in literature as important to the safety of venison in consumers’ eyes are discussed, including: 1) trichinosis, 2) genetic modifications, 3) hormones, and 4) toxoplasmosis. The critical analysis of literature data allowed concluding that the aforementioned factors do not increase the risk posed by venison consumption. It was additionally concluded that, in many aspects, the venison is definitely safer meat than meat of the livestock. An overview of literature data demonstrated, however, the potential threat to consumer health posed by wild game meat contamination with heavy metals. For this reason, contents of arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury were determined in meat samples of 12 does of red deer (Cervus elaphus L.) from the northern Poland. Results of determinations showed explicitly that the analyzed meat posed no risk associated with the content of heavy metals because contents of arsenic, cadmium, and mercury in 12 samples and lead content in 11 samples were below the detection limit, whereas lead content in one sample was determined at a very low level. In general, the results presented are consistent with literature data, however it needs to be noted that varying conditions of game habitat and factors associated with the hunt can contribute to increased contents of heavy metals in game meat.