Can you always eat raw meat (wild) as long as it is fresh?

  • VTC as opinion based / needs clarity. As asked it’s a yes/no question and anyone can assume whatever circumstances they want, wherever in the world they are and what fresh/raw/wild/meat mean.
    – bmike
    Jan 11, 2020 at 16:15
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    @bmike What exactly would closing do? This question was asked like 8 years ago and preventing new answers really isn't going to do anything Jan 11, 2020 at 19:45

4 Answers 4


Depending on what you mean by "can you eat it" you can eat anything really, it just depends on how much worse off you want to be afterward.

According to this article, dangers include:

trichinelliosis - from eating meat of a carnivorous animal

brucellosis - can be had from raw caribou

e. coli, and salmonella are rampant

tapeworm - and other worms are fairly common in fish. In fact, all Sushi sold in the United States legally must be frozen before it can be served.

  • 1
    The upside - e.coli and salmonella are in most things these days, and as long as you are healthy, you will be quite resistant. Didn't know that about US sushi.
    – Rory Alsop
    Jan 27, 2012 at 0:46
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    @RoryAlsop: Can you back up that claim?
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Jan 27, 2012 at 7:38
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    @JayBazuzi - not as resistant as I thought: fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/salmonella_questions_&_answers
    – Rory Alsop
    Jan 27, 2012 at 8:37
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    Tuna can be served raw without being frozen in the U.S., just not other fish.
    – xpda
    Jan 27, 2012 at 17:17

Caveat: My comments are relevant in the UK:

I think if your use of 'fresh' means you killed it, so you can have some confidence in its health before death and could get a reasonable view of the surrounding environment (e.g. don't eat the deer that just came out of the nuclear waste dumping site...), then yes. But make sure you cleanly gut the animal, as diseases like salmonella and e.coli are likely to be present in the gut.

I wouldn't try this with shellfish or any animal that concentrates poisons, but in general I think you'll be fine with the usual game.

Of course, if you have poached the deer from an estate, you may still be at risk from the gamekeeper :-)


For raw wild meat (assuming fresh)

Note: Most mammals can get rabies. If an animal is showing symptoms of rabies, don't eat it.

Pork & Rabbit -- Just don't. They get stuff that will kill you just from contact with an open scratch.
Squirrel -- Check for cysts, which are a sign of parasites.
Deer, elk, etc. -- Primary risk is worms.
All mammals -- Take care not to let the guts come in contact with the parts you want to eat.

Birds -- While safe if cooked, most birds harbor lots of nastiness when raw. No way would I even think of trying this.

Fish -- It's extremely unlikely that you just happen to be trained in how to clean fish without contaminating the meat (ala sushi chef). If you are, feel free to nom as long as there are no skin lesions, but know that there are many parasites you can get which use fish as part of their reproductive cycle.


My rule is don't eat wild raw meat, cook it when you can't be sure both it and the preparation are sanitary. The only exception is fish caught from a line when I'm able to cleanly sashimi a species known to be generally safe when healthy.

I'm looking at you toro and maguro (tuna), sake (salmon) and hamachi (yellowtail). The salmon and yellowtail are safer if frozen first due to tapeworm and other infectious parasites - so in the wild, those get cooked too in most instances.

  • I do not myself think I could risk raw meat unless it really was life death . A fire is quite important if you are in a cold environment, my theory here is if you were too cold you would likely die from that before hunger due to stored body fats. I could be wrong completely hence this just being a simple comment.
    – AndyF
    Jan 11, 2020 at 15:58
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    @AndyF Access to medical care should probably be added. My rule hinges totally on if I can get to care before succumbing from whatever risks I take. In the end, it’s all monkey see, monkey do. Those that aren’t adventurous enough starve in the wild and those too adventurous die prematurely when their luck runs out.
    – bmike
    Jan 11, 2020 at 16:06
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    @AndyF Also, this question should probably be closed since it’s not “constructive suggestive” enough. It waves it’s hands at survival with a tag, but it’s so vague it’s basically: “Yes/no - raw meat - survival - let’s discuss”
    – bmike
    Jan 11, 2020 at 16:13
  • I'm not the O.P but I think I can see what you are saying. It may be more suitable for "chat" then ? I am still slowly 'learning the ropes' here on S.E myself so please excuse me if I have errored.
    – AndyF
    Jan 11, 2020 at 16:51

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