Why the US government is giving advice on how to eat cannibal sandwiches

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Why the US government is giving advice on how to eat cannibal sandwiches

They’re particularly popular in parts of the Midwest.


(Jonathan Brady/PA)
(Jonathan Brady/PA)

Fancy a cannibal sandwich this Christmas?

Well, official advice from the United States Department of Agriculture is clear on the matter: don’t eat them – but not for the reason you might think.

The dish is popular in parts of America’s Midwest, but it has nothing to do with eating human flesh.

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It’s not a cannibal sandwich but you probably shouldn’t eat this either (LoulouVonGlup/Getty)

The colourful name describes a delicacy of raw minced beef, onions and spices on rye bread or crackers. Similar to steak tartare, it’s also known as tiger meat and is particularly beloved over the festive season in Wisconsin.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for the risky dish to make Wisconsinites ill – so the USDA has stepped in to offer some official advice.

“The dish…is dangerous because it is uncooked, meaning it can still contain harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness, which are only killed by cooking ground beef to 160°F,” the advice reads.

Instead, the USDA suggests a safer alternative.

“If cannibal sandwiches are a tradition in your home, try this safe alternative: cook the ground beef with the same spices and toppings, until it reaches 160°F, and serve it on top of bread or crackers,” the advice reads.

“You may be surprised to find that it tastes better when cooked! Not to mention, you won’t be risking a trip to the hospital with every mouthful.”

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Press Association

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