Hungarian game meat is safe, high quality, healthy and tasty. Visitors to yesterday's game meat promotion event, which included a cooking competition and tasting, had the opportunity to see this for themselves. At the event, organised by the Ministry of Rural Development and the National Food Chain Safety Office (NÉBIH), Minister of State for Sport István Simicskó, Deputy Sate Secretary for Food Chain Supervision and Agricultural Economy Lajos Bognár, officials from the NÉBIH ad well as well-known chefs and journalists sampled and tested Hungarian game products together.

The Office launched the game meat promotion campaign to encourage both the public and public catering organisations to use more of the country's healthy and high quality game. Thanks to master chef József Némedi, the jury had the chance to sample venison dishes that were prepared in the same way, but using meat that had be seasoned for varying periods. The jury blind-tested samples of the mildly seasoned fried meats prepared from venison fillet or leg. The aim of the tasting was to determine which was the tastiest, after compiling the results.

Photo: Csaba Pelsőczy

Public catering could be healthier if, while making use of the opportunities provided by Hungarian forests, which are rich in game, more game meat found its way to the dinner tables of schools and other institutions, Minister of State Lajos Bognár said, who read a letter from Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén at the opening ceremony. The Government is also helping the realisation of the above-mentioned goal through the adoption of the 2011 Game Act, which makes it easier for hunting associations sell the meat they have acquired. Apart from fish, game is the healthiest and most valuable meat, as game animals only consume natural food.

In addition to sampling, the various meats were also tested for microorganisms. This is a new development, as thus far the profession only had available old nutrition charts. The results of testing showed a lower number of microbes than the prescribed limit for farmed animals slaughtered under normal hygienic conditions.

Bulcsu Herényi, Head of Department from the NÉBIH and the programmes coordinator, said that "we hope to be able to provide guidelines for game meat associations and distributors (restaurants, public caterers) regarding how and according to what conditions they can supply healthy and high quality game meat to consumers". By the second half of 2014, testing is expected to include all domestic species that may be hunted, he added, to which the latest knowledge gained in the case of venison may provide a useful and sturdy foundation.