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There’s a beef brewing over this traditional Wisconsin delicacy.
State health officials have urged locals to cut “cannibal sandwiches” from their holiday menus this year.
The dish — also known as “tiger meat” — consists of raw ground beef and sliced raw onions on rye bread.
“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 tweeted on Saturday.
“Ground beef should always be cooked to 160 degrees!”
In a longer Facebook post, the department warned that eating raw meat “poses a threat for Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter and Listeria bacteria.”
Hundreds of people in the Midwest are sickened after eating cannibal sandwiches each holiday season, the US Department of Agriculture noted in a 2018 blog post.
There have been eight raw meat-related outbreaks in Wisconsin since 1986, the department noted.
It’s unclear if Wisconsinites will heed the warnings this year.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel included the dish on its 2018 list of 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.
Last year, Bunzel’s Meat Market in Milwaukee said it goes through more than 1,000 pounds of raw beef and 250 pounds of raw onions just for the sandwiches during the holiday period.
Owner Jeff Zupan told Wisconsin Public Radio that it looks like the sammies are making a comeback.
“People are now like, ‘Oh gee, I remember when Grandma made this,’” he said.
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