After a Wisconsin holiday tradition of eating “cannibal sandwiches” was linked to an E. coli outbreak last year, health officials are begging people to refrain from eating the sandwiches. Before you get too grossed out, the cannibal sandwiches are made using raw ground beef. That still has a pretty high gross factor, but at least we’re not talking about the real meaning of the word, right?
According to Travel Channel, the cannibal sandwich is a “holiday tradition brought over by early German immigrants.” The sandwich is made out by placing the raw seasoned ground beef and an onion slice between two crackers or two slices of rye bread. Some people call this dish steak tartare or tiger meat.
While we all have our traditions, the Wisconsin tradition of eating cannibal sandwiches has caused quite a few illnesses over the years, which is why health officials want people to stay away from them this holiday season. In 2012, it was reported that more than a dozen people got sick from an E. coli outbreak related to eating the raw ground beef. There have also been reports of illnesses related to eating the sandwiches in Wisconsin in 1972, 1978, and 1994.
“We want everyone to have a wonderful holiday season and don’t want anyone to be sick,” said Abbey Canon, an official with the Wisconsin Department of Health. According to the USDA, ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 °F.
Despite Canon’s concerns and report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how unsafe eating cannibal sandwiches can be, some of the people who got sick said that they’ll eat the sandwiches again this year. The Wisconsin state health department handed out questionnaires to 15 of the people that got sick and six of the people said they’ll continue eating cannibal sandwiches. “Hopefully we can change a few of those minds,” Canon said.
Check out the ingredients for the cannibal sandwich below. Would you consider trying this? Add your comments below.
Cannibal sandwich pic.twitter.com/EtktKsfh
— dnsands (@dnsands) December 24, 2012
[Image via Twitter]