Bear meat must be inspected before serving in restaurants


<div>Bear meat is sold and served in restaurants and other events every autumn during and after the bear-hunting season. Bear meat served in restaurants and intended for general consumption in retail market must be approved in meat inspection.</div>

Bear meat inspection always includes control for Trichinella. The bear is one of the game animals with requirements on meat inspection and restrictions on delivery of meat for general consumption.

Meat inspection for game is carried out by an official veterinarian in a slaughterhouse approved for the purpose or in another location approved by the municipal veterinarian, such as meat handling premises of a hunting association. Meat inspection is always carried out on the whole carcass. The bear carcass and viscera must be delivered to an approved location for the final slaughter and inspection of the carcass. The meat inspection verifies that the animal has been healthy and that the meat is suitable for human consumption. Inspection must be agreed in advance with the veterinarian.

Meat inspection includes control for Trichinella for animals that are known to be susceptible to Trichinella infection. Trichinella are nematode parasites which can also be transmitted to humans when eating raw or undercooked meat. In Finland, Trichinella is often found in, wild predators including bear and, occasionally, in wild boar. Trichinella can cause a dangerous, long-term illness in humans.

Meat approved in meat inspection is marked with health marks stamped on the carcass. Meat inspected in slaughterhouses can also be exported to other EU countries, and it is marked with an oval-shape health mark. Meat inspected by a municipal veterinary in any other location is marked with a rectangular health mark with the personal identity number of the veterinarian and the word ”Riista” (”Game”). Carcass stamped with a rectangular health mark is only approved for domestic consumption. Approved carcasses may be cut at the slaughterhouse or in the place of inspection to a maximum of one thirds of a half a carcass. For actual cutting, carcasses must be delivered to an approved cutting plant or the place where it is served.

The operator receiving bear meat for retailing or serving in a restaurant must ensure that the meat is inspected. In every part of the carcass must be a health mark as a proof of meat inspection. If meat is purchased cut, it must be cut in an approved cutting plant. If meat originates from slaughterhouse or an approved cutting plant, it must be accompanied with a document stating the details of the sending establishment.

Further information:
Senior Officer Leena Oivanen, Evira, tel. +358 (0)20 77 24272
Senior Officer Vera Haapala, Evira, tel. +358 (0)20 77 24294

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