As deer hunting season begins in the state of Illinois, a recent study reveals concerning information about the consumption of venison after hunting these animals. For some, hunting is about the game, without the expectation of eating the animal afterwards. For others, the meal that comes from the recreational activity is the primary driver behind participating in deer hunting. With over 75,400 deer harvested in the 2019-2020 season, many Illinoisans are participating in the activity, potentially risking contracting a form of food poisoning in the process.
Lead Poisoning Found in Deer Meat
A recently published study, authored by two Illinois Wesleyan University faculty members and a Bloomington veterinarian, revealed significant traces of lead contamination in shotgun-harvested deer. The researchers measured lead concentrations in ground venison packets from deer that were harvested in Illinois in 2013 and 2014. It was found that nearly 50 percent of the packets tested positive for lead contamination, with some even containing lead fragments. The researchers attribute the contamination to lead shotgun ammunition, a common form of ammunition that is used while hunting deer.
According to the study, there is no recognized safe level of lead intake, meaning any consumption of the substance can be toxic. In order to avoid consuming toxic substances, hunters should seek out non-lead ammunition before hunting. However, even if you take the viable measures to avoid using lead ammunition, meat processing plants could lead you astray. The authors from the study noted that 60 percent of the meat processing plants in Illinois admitted to mixing meat from different animals into their ground venison products, making it impossible to be sure that what you are consuming was not harvested with lead ammunition.
What are the Results of Lead Poisoning?
Recognizable symptoms from lead poisoning are often built up over time, but for regular hunters or venison consumers, this could happen rather quickly. Symptoms vary depending on your age, but for adults these can include any of the following:
- Joint and muscle pain
- High blood pressure
- Difficulties with memory or concentration
- Abdominal pain
- Mood disorders
- Miscarriage or still birth
- Reduced or abnormal sperm count
Contact an Illinois Food Poisoning Attorney
Even if you take the necessary precautions when hunting, someone else’s mistakes can leave you consuming lead and accumulating toxic levels throughout your body. If you have recently hunted or consumed pre-packaged venison and experienced any of the aforementioned symptoms, you should seek out medical assistance and legal representation. Newland & Newland, LLP works tirelessly to defend those who have been harmed by the negligence of others. We will help you pursue compensation to make up for any pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of work, and any ongoing conditions that may occur. For help with your case, contact our Chicago food poisoning lawyers at 847-840-8950 to schedule your free initial consultation.