Americans Warned Against Eating Raw Meat Sandwiches Say It’s ‘Holiday Tradition’

by : Cameron Frew on : 14 Dec 2020 12:00
Americans Warned Against Eating Raw Meat Sandwiches Say It's 'Holiday Tradition'Americans Warned Against Eating Raw Meat Sandwiches Say It's 'Holiday Tradition'malinkalynn/ben_turnbull_artist/Instagram

Forget turkey, forget yams. In Wisconsin, some families have their own Christmas food tradition: raw meat sandwiches. 

Every household has their own holiday quirks when it comes to grub. For example, as a Scot, we always have haggis with our Christmas dinner.


However, some delicacies could be considered hazardous to one’s health. ‘But it’s Christmas!’ is a convenient excuse for just about anything, but it won’t fly when it comes to munching on raw meat.

Social media became readily aware of Wisconsin’s alarmingly strange snack after the Minion Death Cult Podcast shared some screenshots from a Wisconsin Department of Health Services Facebook post.

The post explains: ‘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.’


It continues: ‘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. (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.’

Mince Mince Pixabay

While I certainly can’t imagine a grimmer lunch than raw mince meat, locals from the state turned out in force to fight for their right to Cannibal Sandwiches.

One user wrote: ‘Nope. As much as I respect the Dept of Health, I’ve been eating them since I was 6. I’m not stopping now. (And this isn’t ‘party food’. This is ‘I’m hungry for this and will eat it on any day that ends in Y’.)’


Another commented: ‘Been keeping my family tradition going for many years. Raw beef, onions, salt & pepper on mini-rye bread. Yum. Buy it special cut & ground fresh from a local small town butcher. No problems in over 60 years of eating it. Wisconsin tradition with a brandy old fashion!’

A third wrote: ‘A little pepper, some onions, and then slap it on a piece of rye bread. It’s all about getting it from the right part of the cow and from a good butcher.’

Others aren’t convinced. One user wrote: ‘Honestly, doesn’t anyone check the way something sounds before posting it. It sounds like you NEED to pass on this tradition. Not TAKE a pass on this tradition. I can’t believe a health department missed that.’


The podcast account also joked: ‘Sitting down at the table in my ripped long Johns, soot on my face, enjoying raw beef because I can’t afford any fire.’

However, among the confused replies, one user tried to explain: ‘This is a normal thing here in WI, and I worked as a butcher for 10 years, so I’ve seen a f*ck ton of this. If you use completely lean meat (no fat at all) it’s ‘fine,’ but it’s dumb as f*ck and it also sucks and tastes bad.’

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Food, Christmas, holidays, US, Wisconsin


Wisconsin Department of Health Services/Facebook
  1. Wisconsin Department of Health Services/Facebook