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US Health Officials: Please Skip the Traditional Raw Meat Sandwiches This Year

I’ll stick to the eggnog, thanks. 

When it comes to these colder months of the year, Americans have no shortage of seasonal delicacies available to them.  Apple cider arrives just before Halloween, and ushers us into the cavalcade of fall foods that we enjoy at Thanksgiving:  Sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, turkey, and cranberry sauce, to name a few.

Christmas has its own treats as well, with sugar cookies, candy canes, raw meat sandwiches, and eggnog all making the list.

This year, however, it looks like one of those items will have to be crossed off the traditional Wisconsinite’s diet.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is urging residents to put down their cannibal sandwiches, also known as raw meat sandwiches, tiger meat or steak tartare.

“Many Wisconsin families consider them to be a holiday tradition, but eating them poses a threat for Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter and Listeria bacteria that can make you sick,” the department wrote in a Facebook post Saturday, which it called its annual reminder. “Remember, ground beef should ALWAYS be cooked to an internal temperature of 160° F.”

…oh, there’s more…

Hundreds of people in the Midwest partake of the seasonal tradition, according to a 2018 U.S. Department of Agriculture blog post, which offers some tips for eating the sandwiches.

“If cannibal sandwiches are a tradition in your home, try this safe alternative: cook the ground beef with the same spices and toppings, until it reaches 160°F, and serve it on top of bread or crackers,” the USDA said. “You may be surprised to find that it tastes better when cooked! Not to mention, you won’t be risking a trip to the hospital with every mouthful.”

I’ll stick to the eggnog, thanks.

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