“If cannibalistic sandwiches are a tradition in your home, try this safe alternative: cook ground beef with the same spices and toppings, until it hits 160F, and serve it on bread or crackers.” , he said. “You might be surprised to find that it tastes better when cooked! Not to mention, you won’t risk a trip to the hospital with every bite.
There have been eight outbreaks in that state related to the consumption of raw ground beef since 1986, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
It is not known how many Wisconsinites observe a holiday tradition of eating raw meat, but Dr Murano said the warnings apply far beyond the state. The steak tartare found in upscale restaurants around the world is just as dangerous, she said, as are Italian carpaccio (thinly sliced raw beef), Amsterdam ossenworst (raw beef, traditionally smoked) and zwiebelmett (ground raw pork with onion).
“Identity is a big deal in Wisconsin, and food is a great way to express it and a great way to keep it,” said Ms. Altschwager, of the historical society. “Maintaining German citizenship in Wisconsin has been a big part of our history, a big part of our policy.”
The cannibalistic sandwiches, she said, reflect the larger phenomenon of immigration: people bringing elements of their cultural identity to the United States, and sometimes changing them – or becoming attached to them – in some way. which contrasts with the country of origin. Ms. Altschwager compared cannibalistic sandwiches to lutefisk, dried cod reconstituted with lye, a tradition among some Scandinavian Americans.
“Hardly anyone in Norway would touch this stuff,” she said. “It’s not part of their contemporary cultural identity, but it’s very important to Northwestern Norwegians because it was an iconic food when they moved, so they clung to it. Cannibal sandwiches are expressions of that same sort of thing. And vacations are the ones you see the most. “
But health experts have said it is better for people to abandon dangerous traditions rather than risk a calamitous sandwich. (Wisconsin Health Agency also warned locals do not eat raw dough, cookies or cake dough.)