Americans warned not to eat raw meat sandwiches over the Christmas period
It's a tradition in certain parts of the country, apparently
Americans have been warned not to eat raw meat sandwiches over the Christmas period.
You'd think it goes without saying, but chowing down on raw meat is actually traditional in certain parts of the USA. Calling it a 'delicacy' may be stretching it, however.
In Wisconsin, raw meat sandwiches are often consumed during the festive period - though they are referred to as 'Tiger Meat' or 'Cannibal Sandwiches'. However, public health bodies in the region have warned against this, as it poses a serious health risk.
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. Ground beef should always be cooked to 160 degrees! Get more holiday food safety tips: https://t.co/h3fi4TfPye #foodsafety pic.twitter.com/jDqmkt6uOU
— WIDeptHealthServices (@DHSWI) December 12, 2020
A statement from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reads:
"Time for our annual reminder that there's one holiday tradition you need to pass on: raw meat sandwiches, sometimes called Tiger Meat or Cannibal Sandwiches.
"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 authorities also advised people how to cook their beef.
"And, no, it doesn't matter where you buy your beef! Remember, ground beef should ALWAYS be cooked to an internal temperature of 160° F."
Cooking meat also helped humans evolve neurologically.
Speaking to Forbes, Professor Adriana Heguy of New York University said: "We can digest raw meat (think steak tartare), but we get less nutrients from raw than cooked meats. Cooking food in general, not only meats, make them more digestible and more calories can be extracted from cooked food.
"Raw meat can make people ill if the meat is contaminated with bacteria. In modern meat processing plants, the meat can become contaminated with fecal matter from the hapless animal; the same goes with eggs from factory farms. So it is best to cook meat and eggs, rather than eating them raw, not just for digestibility but also to kill the bacteria."