Parasites in Newfoundland Moose Meat
by Wayne Grega
My brother bagged a bull moose in Newfoundland last month. I helped him butcher and package the meat.
I noticed some strange little capsule like pods in the muscle. I could scrape them out a most would break open during the scraping. I assume this is some sort of parasite. Is it dangerous to eat?
Image as seen on Alaska Department of Fish and Game
What you found are likely tapeworm cysts, the presence and intensity of the cysts is relative to the moose age. IE: the more cysts the older the animal.
Really nothing to worry about, you just have to overlook the yuk factor. The Newfoundland Government has published a pamphlet regarding the cysts.
Below is an exert.Sometimes there are only a few cysts in the muscle that can be easily picked out, while other times there are hundreds visible.
They are yellowish and a bit bigger than a grain of rice. There is no direct risk to human health from eating the cooked meat.
There is no need to reject or waste a moose carcass because of a few cysts that can be easily removed. It is understandable, though, that if there are large numbers visible, the meat may not look appetizing.
The presence of cysts in muscle or liver may be aesthetically displeasing to hunters, but the fact that these parasites cannot infect humans must be emphasized.(M.W. Lankester and W.M. Samuel, Pests, Parasites and Diseases, Ecology and Management of the North American Moose)
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