Food Safety Tips for Buffalo

Preventing food borne illness is an issue when handling and cooking all types of meat, including buffalo. Here are some tips to help you prepare buffalo in a safe way.
  • Proper Cooking Temperatures: When roasting buffalo, cook the meat to an internal temperature of 155°F for medium rare to 170°F for well done. Ground buffalo should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F.
  • Use a Meat Thermometer: Meat thermometers can be used to check the temperature of cooked buffalo meat.
  • Wash Hands Thoroughly: Always remember to wash your hands before and after preparation of meat.
  • Avoid Cross-Contamination: Spreading bacteria from one food to another, which is known as cross-contamination, can also be an issue. Make sure to clean work surfaces and utensils with hot soapy water after preparing the buffalo meat.
  • Keep Hot Foods Hot and Cold Foods Cold: Keep foods out of the temperature danger zone of 41°F to 140°F.
  • Thaw Meats Properly: Don't let meat, cooked or fresh, sit out at room temperature for more than two hours. Thaw meat in the refrigerator or in the microwave (only if it is going to be cooked immediately after thawing).
  • Store Meats Properly:
Fresh Steaks & Roasts:
Refrigerator: Up to 4 days
Freezer: Up to 12 months

Ground Meat
Refrigerator: Up to 2 days
Freezer: 3 months

Cooked Meat
Refrigerator: Up to 2 days
Freezer: 3 months
Sources:
Northwest Bison Association. "Why should I eat buffalo (ie, bison) meat?" http://www.nwbison.org/eat_buffalo.htm. 01/11/2001

Maginnis, Berdine, and Linda Boeckner. "Cooking with Bison Meat." Nebraska Cooperative Extension (NF98-360), March 1998. http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs/foods/nf360.htm