Cannibal sandwiches could be deadly, and diners are cautioned against the consumption of so-called "tiger meat." First of all, what are cannibal sandwiches? It isn't what it sounds like. While the word cannibal carries connotations of humans eating human flesh, the flesh used in these sandwiches is typically ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper, garnished with raw onion and sometimes mixed with raw egg. The sandwiches are served on cocktail bread, and although they are sometimes referred to as tiger meat, there aren't any tigers used in this traditional dish.
The history of cannibal sandwiches dates back to the 19th century when it was served in Polish, German and other ethnic communities in Milwaukee and the outlying area. According to a Dec. 5, 2013 report by MSN.com, this Wisconsin tradition also has a history of making people sick. During the 2012 holiday season, more than a dozen people fell ill after enjoying raw ground beef as part of these traditional sandwiches.
If raw ground beef sounds familiar to you, then you may be familiar with the more common term steak tartare. Although it is strongly suggested that you cook any meat before consuming it, you can watch a video about how to prepare steak tartare on the left side of this page. The video supplied for entertainment purposes only. Eating raw meat is not suggested. Once again, it cannot be stressed enough that ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F in order to be safe for human consumption.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released a statement cautioning diners against consumption of the holiday treat, "Despite ongoing outreach efforts addressing the dangers associated with consuming undercooked or raw ground beef, this regional holiday tradition continues to be associated with outbreaks," Reuters reported
The problem with cannibal sandwiches is that consumption of raw meat can result in an E. coli infection. Such infections bring along symptoms like diarrhea and stomach cramps but E. coli can also cause kidney failure, especially in the particularly young, old or those with compromised immune systems.