With each holiday season, there are hundreds of people who are sickened after eating cannibal sandwiches. What is a cannibal sandwich you ask? It's a dish featuring raw ground beef, often seasoned with spices and onions and served on bread or a cracker. For many in the mid-west, it is a family tradition.

In fact, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has put out a warning stating that there have been eight outbreaks in that state linked to the consumption of raw ground beef since 1986.

The dish, also known as “tiger meat,” or “steak tartare,” is dangerous because it is uncooked, meaning it can still contain harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness, which are only killed by cooking ground beef to 160°F.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reminds you to not become a statistic this year. Raw meat is never safe to consume. Make sure that any meat products you consume are cooked to the proper internal temperature listed below:

  • Beef, pork, lamb and veal....145F
  • Ground beef, pork, lamb and veal: 160F.
  • Poultry (whole or ground): 165F.

If cannibal sandwiches are a tradition in your home, try this safe alternative: cook the ground beef with the same spices and toppings, and serve it on top of bread or crackers. You may be surprised to find that it tastes better when cooked! That's my preferred way. Not to mention, you won’t be risking a trip to the hospital with every mouthful.

Be safe and Happy Holidays.


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