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Wild Game guidance

Storage of Wild Game

Game larder is generally understood as a facility used to store wild game after hunting.

Last updated: 25 July 2022
Last updated: 25 July 2022

The term ‘game larder’ is not defined in hygiene legislation. Nevertheless, in the UK it is generally understood as a facility used to store wild game after hunting, as an associated primary production operation. The following activities carried out at game larders are regarded as part of primary production:

  • any necessary carcase preparation activity that is part of normal hunting practice (for example, bleeding, gralloching). It is often preferable to do this at the game larder rather than in the field
  • storage of wild game.

To this end, game larders should:

  • have sufficient capacity to handle hygienically the amount of wild game passing through the game larder, as well as the capacity to store, handle and dispose of waste and Animal By-Products (ABP) as necessary
  • be adequately ventilated or refrigerated with a record of temperatures kept
  • be protected against contamination including from animals and pests
  • facilities and equipment must be kept clean and, where necessary after cleaning, be disinfected in an appropriate manner
  • prevent the introduction and spread of contagious diseases transmissible to humans through food and report the suspicion of such diseases to the competent authority
  • ensure that all those who handle game and game meat are in good health and have undergone training food safety risks
  • store and handle waste and hazardous substances so as to prevent contamination

Examples of best practice and those not considered to meet required standards for game larders and storage can be found on our website, Wild Game photos (PDF).

6.1 European Union (EU) amendments on collection centres impacting on Northern Ireland (NI)

EU Law directly applies in Northern Ireland.  EU Law has recently been amended to introduce collection centres for wild game. The EU changes within Section IV provide a new legal concept of 'collection centres'.

The EU amendment defines wild game collection centres as 'an establishment used to store the bodies and viscera of wild game before their transport to a game handling establishment'.

The collection centre for wild game can be either:

  • registered with the competent authority as a food business carrying out primary production as referred to in Article 4(2)(a) when only receiving bodies as first collection centre, or
  • approved by the competent authority as a food business in accordance with Article 4(2) when receiving bodies from other collection centres

Either registered or approved, relevant hygiene rules apply.