Meanwhile in Wisconsin: Health Officials Urge Residents to Skip ‘Cannibal Sandwiches’ This Holiday Season

There are a lot of warnings going out this holiday season. Stay home. Limit gathering sizes. Skip swapping Christmas cookies with your neighbors. And whatever you do, don’t serve cannibal sandwiches at your holiday feast.

Say what? If you’ve never heard of this delicacy, it’s probably because you don’t live in Wisconsin (and you have some self-respect). Cannibal sandwiches, also known as “tiger meat,” are essentially raw ground beef topped with sliced raw onions and sandwiched between two slices of rye bread.

Tasty as that might sound (*gags*), these ‘wiches are dangerous – and health officials in America’s Dairyland are warning residents that they should keep them off the holiday table this year.

“For many #Wisconsin families, raw meat sandwiches are a #holiday tradition, but eating raw meat is NEVER recommended because of the bacteria it can contain,” the Wisconsin Department of Health Services recently tweeted. “Ground beef should always be cooked to 160 degrees!”

Twitter was divided. Some didn’t see what the big deal was. Others were downright disgusted by the Badger State’s dirty little secret.

Cannibal sandwiches go way back, and many remember the dry-heave-inducing combo being dished up by their relatives – particularly those who hailed from Germany. In 2018, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel listed the sandwich among Wisconsin’s favorite holiday culinary traditions. “It’s a popular item at Wisconsin family tables during the holidays, and it’s not for the faint of heart,” the newspaper said.

A report on Wisconsin Public Radio last year interviewed a local butcher shop owner, Jeff Zupan, who said sales of raw beef and onions were booming during the holidays. “People are now like, ‘Oh gee, I remember when Grandma made this,’” he said.

Just because grandma made it, though, doesn’t mean you have to continue the tradition. You could just let it die. Because, really, is any holiday dish worth getting sick for? We’ll stick with Christmas ham, thanks.

Cover Photo: PicLeidenschaft (Getty Images)

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