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Dec 7, 2008 06:29 PM

Wild Game & Foraging [split from S.F. board]

I'm a bit curious and too busy (and lazy) right now to look it up, but federal law has always, as far as I know, prohibited fresh game being sold. I suppose it could be farm raised. Do you happen to know?


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  1. Yes, all farm raised. Mostly from New Zealand, but there are a few farms for venison and elk here in the US as well.

    1. Wild game cannot be sold under any circumstances, fresh or not, but can be used for personal consumption. Farm-raised game can be sold fresh or otherwise.

      Here's a site with a lot of info about game in a nutshell:

      9 Replies
      1. re: Xiao Yang

        Thanks for interesting link.

        I did not see the answer to one unresolved question: I thought only domestic wild foodstuffs* couldn't be sold; I did not think it pertained to those from other countries. Do you happen to know that for certain?

        *A special the other night at PIzzaiolo was wild mushrooms from Tilden Park. Is this a different category?


        1. re: Fine

          There was this language on that page:

          "FDA has jurisdiction over imported fish, buffalo, rabbits, venison, wild game, and all other foods not covered by the Federal meat and poultry inspection laws. Meat and poultry exported from another country must meet all safety standards applied to foods produced in the United States, and this must be verified annually."

          This may mean that the meat must be processed in a facility built and maintained to USFDA standards, as was the case with Serrano hams.

          1. re: Fine

            Mushrooms, berries and the like are definitely in a different category and can be foraged and sold. The big issues are just with meat, due to risks of disease transmission to humans.

            1. re: Joan Kureczka

              Fine may have been kidding but it is important that you or your merchant are familiar with the credentials of your wild mushroom hunter.

              1. re: wolfe

                And what's the law on the wild asparagus?

                1. re: Xiao Yang

                  The law should be: If Euell Gibbons won't eat it, neither should you.

              2. re: Joan Kureczka

                The implication that wild came can be imported under certain conditions suggests that the USDA's concern may be with over-harvesting rather than health issues; either that, or the USDA and the USFDA are not on the same page, which also wouldn't be surprising.

                1. re: Xiao Yang

                  There are significant health issues, since wild deer may carry and transmit a disease similar to mad cow disease (a prion disease called chronic wasting disease) and boar still carries trichinosis, which has been eliminated from the commercial pork supply.

              3. re: Fine

                ahh.. I don' t think you can legally forage mushrooms from Tilden Park.