Knives and hygiene


Well-Known Member
This post has been instigated by a posting from Pete E on another section of the forum

Due to hygiene laws are we not supposed to use knives with plastic sheaths?

How many of us have "EBAYED or retired" our favourite pigsticker that had a LEATHER sheath, in order to adhere to the law?

Methinks NONE :confused:


Well-Known Member
It was a statement made by Pete E I suppose that he assumed that leather sheaths could become impregnated with infection. I do see the logic in this theory

Plastic (YUK) is of course far more washable than leather


Well-Known Member

I have not got rid of any of my knifes but my real work horse is a little Buck Knife with a gut hook, it has a plastic handle and sheeth and can all be hygenicly cleaned.


Remington 700

Well-Known Member
The dvd's demonstrating level 2 work that Ive seen basically show straight handled plastic knives being used and encouraged, simply because of cleaning purposes.
A vet who inspects game dealers stated that we could even use a folding knife as long as it had been sterilised and placed into a clean sealable bag.

If practices have changed then where did it come from?


Well-Known Member
Gerber Gator

I also Use a Gerber Gator as a back up knife and it can be chucked in the dish washer as well and comes out spotless. You just need to remember to oil the joint after cleaning.



Well-Known Member
My fav knife has a wooden handle and i will continue to use it. I have one of those plastic handled frost knives which i'll use during my DSC2 evaluation but otherwise i'll use my fav.


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Thanks for the post Pete E, I did not try to put words in your mouth, real sorry if that is what came across,
:oops: :oops: but you did raise a very valid point, albeit in general conversation, and that's what prompted my posting
I used to help out in a slaughter yard as a teenager, and all the knives there had plastic handles and sheaths.

I have thought about this very subject many times when gutting stuff, and would love to see the question expanded and commented upon.

I usually squirt by blade with dettol spray when I get home (after washing it), and then apply a light coat of oil, but the sheath, well thats still manky, as I cannot immerse it without messing up the leather, and this is where my mind questions the suitability of leather.
It is not impervious and all sorts of disgusting germs could be lurking in the sheath.
At the end of the day its all to do with food hygiene and I have never seen a butcher using leather products, in the same breath ya dont see leather toilet seats.
Surely there is a cause for concern about cross contamination?

Nick Gordon

Well-Known Member
My opinion is that these regulations are yet another example of bureaucracy gone mad.

Over the years just how many cases have there been of people contracting food poisoning from eating contaminated venison where the deer was gralloched by a stalker who had not washed his hands after crawling through peat hags or whatever, was not wearing sterile gloves and using a knife which was either kept in his pocket or in a leather sheath before the deer was dragged over a moor before being put on a leather saddle on a pony before being hung in a larder whch only got a bucket of water thrown over the floor and brushed off to clear the blood etc?

If our EU rulers have their way, soon you will not be allowed to
put venison in to the food chain unless the deer has been either slaughtered in an abattoir or despatched in a hospital (clear of MRSA obviously).

All of these rules are a bit like the driving test I suspect. People will do things a certain way to get their DSC or whatever but then do it differently afterwards.


Nick Gordon

Well-Known Member
Hi Pete,

Yes, I agree that certain rules are required but it a question of where to draw the line.

That incident arose from a failure to apply one of the most basic of hygene rules of not allowing raw meat to come in to contact with cooked.

Maybe I'm being niaive but I thought cooking killed most if not all food bugs etc.

Perhaps someone out there knows the answer to this.

Leaving aside other factors such as failing to store in a cool place and so on, just what types of bacteria do survive after meat has been properly cooked?

As I understand it, the authorities are looking for traceablity.

Playing devil's advocate for a minute, who is going to win if there is an argument between you and the game dealer in the event of not diseased but contaminated venison entering the food chain?



Hi Guys
Yep me again, good to hear you all talking about hygiene, especially after the verbal kicking i got over our "Stalker Box" on this forum, however all of you are just confirming exactly wher i am coming from, a basic sensible level of hygiene to cover ALL aspects of shooting and the prevention of cross contamination all in a water tight box.

With regard to leather we do have a "Anti-Bacterial Leather Protector" which we supply to the Equine people for protection of bridals, saddles etc etc which will prevent diseases etc growing in leather.

To keep you knives clean ypou can leave them to soak in our high level disinfectant which has NO corrosive property and can be mixed and left in a sealable tray/jar to leave the knife in overnight or until next required.

Whilst i appreciate we have no direct record or trace of people getting food poisoning from shot deer, it is why the regulations are in put in place. we are all more at risk from virul infections etc as the "Super Bugs" are getting more and more aggresive and mutate making it more and more difficult to protect against, so therefore starting with a regular basic level of hygiene will help all of us not only protect ourselves, family and friends but our sport, which is just as important.

Look forward to seeing as many as poosible of you at the CLA, look out for "Chelsea Hygiene" or "Field & Moor" our new company soon to be launched.