The Value of Properly Handled Foods

(There are two pages today, a new thing for me here. Please be sure to read both pages)

I was digging through my chest freezer a few days ago, and ran across a package of venison, simply labelled “bs”. Now if you’ve read ANY of my other posts, you must be thinking that this is the reason I’m so full of it, I keep packages of “bs” in my freezer. While I am full of bs, I am not usually full of this type. In this case the “bs” stands for “backstrap” not the other option. This particular backstrap was venison, I was in luck, having lost a package of some mighty fine eats in the bottom of my freezer.

Backstrap is sometimes erroneously called the tenderloin. For clarification’s sake, I opted to call upon one of my esteemed colleagues, BlueTang the difference between a tenderloin and a backstrap. BT earned an MS in Agriculture from the University of Florida in Meat Science. Not only does my buddy own seven smokers and grills, he actually has the education to know what he is doing. While I may not believe some of his stories, the ones regarding meat I take as gospel. Here is his reply to my question:

The backstrap in a deer is the longissimus dorsi muscle, there are two and the backstraps run along the length of the spine. The ld is the longest muscle in the body. In beef, it would be the eye of the ribeye and the strip loin. It diminishes into the shoulder and sirloin. Some call the deer backstrap the tenderloin. The tenderloin is actually the psoas major muscle(and to a lesser extent the psoas minor) and is located beneath and in back (towards the rear of the animal)of  the ribs, next to the backbone. In beef, it would be the smaller muscle in a porterhouse steak. The tenderloin is also called the filet or  filet Mignon as a steak. It is also used in the dishes Chateaubriand and Beef Wellington.

Impressive, isn’t he?

As I was saying, I found a long, lost backstrap. However, I hadn’t been deer hunting since November 2011, and this package was from the year before that! This package was roughly twenty eight months old! I did a little research, and found this at in regards to beef, a meat very similar to venison:shelf life of beef

By the standards set for frozen beef, it looks like I about 20 months expired. What should I do with a package THAT old? Eat it? Dog food? And if I fed it to the dog, would it kill the dog? I hate to waste food….but I’d hate to kill my dog too….What should I have done???

Before you answer, let me add a few details. BlueTang was the one that had cut and wrapped it for me. (Have I mentioned how handy he is to have around?) With his meat handling knowledge and skills, he wrapped it they way is SHOULD be wrapped, tightly, with NO air in the package, and then well sealed.expiration date june 2011

So, a twenty eight month old package of backstrap, wrapped by an individual with higher education in preparing meat. Let’s step out on a limb, and call him a professional in the process. Back to my question, what should I have done? What would YOU do in this situation?


(Continued on Page 2 – click below)



  1. I guess at, since it was properly wrapped, it should still be good to eat but would need to be cooked completely thru. Or did I just kill us and the dogs?

  2. I am pleased to see that you advocate using common sense as well as research to look up such issues. Medicine as well as food tends to be thrown out quickly in this country. I am guilty of never eating left overs that are brought home when we eat out. Admittedly I have a weak stomach and seem to attract food poisoning like a bear to honey. Thankfully I have kids and a husband who do just fine. Having a larger network also insures that food is not wasted. If something is near to the date that you might want to use it remember to share with those that you love or are around you. This is also a great way to introduce someone else to a variety of food sources.

    1. I am lucky to have a cast iron stomach, I’ll admit.

      Our grandparents didn’t have Google to rely on, just the teachings of their elders…and common sense. My grandparents on one side lived into their 90’s eating fried food every day, but worked outside almost to the end. They never ate anything processed, only what they grew themselves (unless you count whiskey!)

      I think a lot of our current day problems stems from eating unnatural foods.

      Thanks for the input and the good points you made!

  3. Good stuff!
    I’ve eaten venison that was a little over two years since it was put in the freezer and we all survived. I vacuum seal the venison in plastic bags.
    Canned food from a sealed, non rusty non bulging can, I’ve eaten some that were over ten years old with no ill effect. But you do have to check. I’ve opened old MRE’s that smelled so bad the dog gagged (I am now forbidden to open old food in the house!).
    Thanks for the great blog!

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