FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2013
CONTACT: Jennifer Miller, (608)
STATE OFFICIALS URGE CONSUMERS TO AVOID “TIGER MEAT” AND “CANNIBAL
SANDWICHES” DURING THE HOLIDAYS
MADISON—This holiday season, health experts from the Wisconsin
Departments of Health Services (DHS) and Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection (DATCP) remind people that eating raw or undercooked ground
meat can result in foodborne illness. An outbreak of illness in
Watertown last winter was linked to eating raw ground beef, served as
“tiger meat” or “cannibal sandwiches.” These dishes typically consist of
raw ground beef topped with salt, pepper, and onions. They are often
served on rye bread or crackers.
“As you plan your meals for upcoming gatherings, remember that no one
wants to be sick during the holidays,” said Dr. Henry Anderson, State
Health Officer. “You also don’t want to be responsible for spreading
illness to family members and friends.”
The 2012 outbreak was caused by the bacteria E. coli O157:H7.
Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infections include severe stomach cramps and
diarrhea, which may be bloody. Infection can lead to kidney failure in
some people, especially the elderly, people with weakened immune
systems, and children under five years old.
Raw ground beef served as “tiger meat” was previously associated with
large outbreaks of foodborne illness in Wisconsin in 1972, 1978, and
1994. Eating raw ground beef can also lead to infections from other
bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter.
Most bacteria in meat, poultry, and eggs can be killed by thorough
cooking. To prevent illness, ground beef should always be cooked to an
internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). Temperature should be measured
with a food thermometer.
Follow these tips to keep your family safe during the holidays:
- Clean – Wash hands and surfaces thoroughly and often.
- Separate – Keep raw meat and poultry separate from cooked or
- Cook – Use a food thermometer and cook foods to the appropriate
- Chill – Refrigerate foods promptly.
For more information about food safety, visit:
For information about E. coli:
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December 05, 2013