State officials in Wisconsin are warning some families to think twice before indulging in the time-honored holiday tradition of eating raw ground-beef sandwiches.
If you haven't heard, yes, this is indeed a Wisconsin delicacy, better known as "cannibal sandwiches" or even "tiger meat."
As Wisconsin Public Radio notes, this "misunderstood" practice goes back generations, and is especially popular in Milwaukee and the southeastern part of the state — though it's also been reported throughout the Upper Midwest.
Of course, eating raw meat carries some significant risks (such as contracting Salmonella and E. coli), so ahead of the holidays — when cannibal sandwiches are traditionally enjoyed — the Wisconsin Department of Health is reminding citizens of the dangers:
So you might be asking, what's so bad about cannibal sandwiches when people eat things like steak tartare (a raw meat dish) in fancy restaurants? Good question.
As the Today Show explains, ground beef — the key ingredient in cannibal sandwiches — is more susceptible to cross-contamination because of the way it's processed, which involves using various pieces of machinery to break down large cuts of meat into smaller portions.
Steak tartare, meanwhile, uses high-quality fresh meat that typically comes from just one cut, as opposed to several.
Wisconsin Public Radio does have some tips for slightly safer raw-meat eating, if you absolutely must have a cannibal sandwich — but we here at BringMeTheNews prefer our meat cooked.