For some of us it's eggnog, for others it's Grandma's famous gingerbread.
Who doesn't have a favorite meal on vacation?
In the state of Wisconsin, where cheese, dairy cows, and the cold (23 degrees average in winter) prevail, some just go for the meat.
And it's raw. While this could be a regional treat, most health care professionals would disapprove of such consumption.
That is, the Wisconsin Department of Health. It recently posted its annual reminder of this holiday tradition on Facebook. "Time for our annual reminder that there is a # holiday tradition to pass on: raw meat sandwiches."
Raw meat sandwiches may not be a national tradition, but they are famous in Wisconsin. They are also known as tiger meat or cannibal sandwiches, according to the Ministry of Health's website. "It is a tradition for some Wisconsinites to eat raw ground beef dishes," said the Department of Health's website. "It is important to know that eating these types of foods is not without its risks." These risks include foodborne bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, and listeria.
Not an idle threat. According to the department, there have been eight outbreaks related to "Tiger Meat" in the past 24 years.
Fans and enemies
Of course, it wouldn't be a Facebook post without comments. Of the more than 700 comments, many defended the practice. Trevor LeRene wrote, “No. As much as I respect the health department, I've been eating them since I was 6 years old. I am not stopping now. "Austin Frederick even had some cooking tips:" A little pepper, a few onions, and then whip on a piece of rye bread. "
Some commentators defended the dish, comparing the raw burger sandwich to ground beef tartare steak, which is often served with raw egg yolks. Others suggested buying certain cuts of meat to ensure safety.
Of course, not everyone was a fan, one woman wrote: “I ate one of these in my life two weeks before my wedding in 1976 and ended up in the hospital for almost a week. Never again!"
The advice also appeared on Twitter, was tweeted by the Ministry of Health, and was picked up by sandwich lovers everywhere. Politically conscious people joined the gourmets. The fans accused the enemies – all in a good mood – of being bourgeois and classic, and the one-liners flew.
As we all know, back then only the top 1% of cavemen could make a fire to cook their meat
– Sharcky _ (@Sharcys) December 14, 2020
Fire is the bourgeoisie.
– Leave No One Behind (@shewz) December 13, 2020
For some, it was the images that provoked a response.
– _ keanna (@justkeex) December 12, 2020
The people aren't the only critics of the sandwiches. The USDA shared some tips for aspiring sandwich eaters: “If cannibal sandwiches are a tradition in your home, try this safe alternative: cook the ground beef with the same seasonings and toppings until it reaches 160 ° F and serve Bread or crackers. You will be surprised that it tastes better when cooked! "
A risky venture
This year there is an additional risk. Food-related diseases such as salmonella, E. coli or listeria can mean hospitalization. With Covid-19 cases on the rise, hospital space is scarce and people are encouraged to avoid unnecessary trips to the hospital. Food poisoning can be an emergency, but it is also preventable.
Although all bacteria are bad, Listeria poses an added risk to pregnant women as it can cross the placenta and potentially harm the fetus. Salmonella and E. coli can also be especially dangerous when someone is pregnant.
The general feeling seems that it would be safer to use fire, but for people who are convinced that raw meat will not harm them, the best thing to do is to use a cut of beef bought from a trusted butcher and the day was consumed.
A protective firewall
Although some restaurants serve raw meat or rare steak, their menus often warn of potential health risks. In a McGill University article on raw meat consumption, Joe Schwarcz, PhD explained some of the science. According to Dr. Schwarcz can get bacteria from the intestines of a cow onto the meat during slaughter. On a rare steak, cooking kills all of the bacteria on the outside of the meat and the bacteria cannot get to the inside of the meat. Although it isn't cooked properly, it is safe. With ground hamburger meat or homemade tartare, the outer pieces of meat are mixed with the inner pieces of meat. If the cut of beef had been contaminated, the bacteria would now spread everywhere.
One thing is certain: this isn't the year you risk something that will take you to the emergency room.