Gamekeepers show desire to keep it clean

Gamekeepers are responding well to new EU hygiene legislation, according to a survey by the Game-to-Eat campaign group.

The new legislation, which covers food hygiene and training, came into force on 1 January this year, and the survey shows that 93% of game producers are fully versed in what is required of them.

Food hygiene training is one area where improvements are noticeable. In 2004, just 24% of gamekeepers had had training; now it is 77%. The legislation also aims to ensure quality control and gamekeepers seem to be taking this on board, with 81% now owning a purpose-built game cart, up from 62% in 2002.

A third of game producers already have chillers and a further 38% of the larger producers are likely to invest in one over the next 12 months.

Alexia Robinson of the Game-to-Eat campaign said: "It shows the industry is responding well to the new EU food hygiene legislations. The increase in game producers with formal training in food hygiene has increased considerably and that's great news for the industry. With the industry continuing to make these sorts of improvements, retailers and caterers can expect to see a more robust supply of quality game throughout the season."