Stop ‘tradition’ of eating raw meat sandwiches, Wisconsin health officials urge

Sanjana Varghese
Monday 14 December 2020 11:27
news
(iStock)

Every region has its own regional delicacies – food that makes sense there, but might be a bit more confusing out of it. Take, for example, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows – a common dish at Thanksgiving in many parts of the US.

Here’s another – raw meat sandwiches. Yes, actual raw meat sandwiches, which nobody in their right mind should be eating. 

It all started when a Facebook post from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reminded people in the state not to partake in the ‘holiday tradition’ of raw meat sandwiches.

The Facebook post said that these sandwiches are called “tiger meat” or “cannibal” sandwiches and that many Wisconsin families consider them to be a holiday tradition. The Department had to remind people that eating raw meat can lead to salmonella and E Coli – and that ground beef should always be cooked.

The post also included a helpful photo of what the sandwich looks like - which seems to literally be raw red meat topped with some herbs. Some people pointed out that this is the same dish as the ‘steak tartare’.  It’s often served with some raw onions on top.

According to the Wisconsin Health Department website, there have been eight outbreaks of salmonella and e coli in the state which have been linked to people eating raw ground beef. The website suggests that people should cook ground beef with toppings and various spices, cook it to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and then it’s served on top of bread and crackers.

People even posted regional versions of similar dishes – such as Kibbeh Nayeh, which comes from the Middle East.

In Germany,  a version of this is called the “Mettigel” - which is a mince hedgehog with onion spikes.

Officials in Wisconsin also suggested other food safety tips  – like being careful when making eggnog, because raw eggs may also contain salmonella, and if eating raw cookie dough and chicken.

More: How I plan on making my Thanksgiving of solitude a liberating experience

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