An increase in home kill meat sold illegally on social media sites pre-Xmas has sparked food safety fears.
Ruapehu District Council has issued a warning over the health and safety of hunted and home kill meat, particularly after a family in the South Waikato was struck down with suspected botulism after eating wild pork.
“With Christmas coming up and people getting together for extended family gatherings, we want to keep people safe and well,” Ruapehu environmental health officer Phoebe Harrison said.
“The Waikato family falling gravely ill after eating wild boar suspected to be contaminated with the potentially fatal botulism toxin highlights the dangers in eating meat that had not been prepared properly.”
She said hunted and home kill meats can be shared with family, friends and visitors – but it cannot be sold, bartered, raffled or donated.
“Both home kill and hunted meats can also be served on a marae for traditional activities within the iwi or hapu, but commercial operations on a marae must use commercially processed meat.
“Because of the health and safety risks involved the penalties for people selling illegal meat are quite severe.”
She warned the Ministry of Primary Industries and council officers monitor social media and other channels for this practice. People were welcome to call the Environment Health team at Ruapehu District Council with any questions.
Harrison said MPI produce a range of educational material on home and hunt killed meat around food safety which can be downloaded from their website mpi.govt.nz or picked up from your local council office.