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“Tiger Meat” Remains A Holiday NO Ho Ho!

Call it “tiger meat,” cannibal sandwich, or steak tartar. Whatever the name, eating raw meat is dangerous. Often prepared as a holiday hors d'oeuvre, “tiger meat” is prepared by mixing raw ground beef and raw eggs with other seasoning to serve on a cracker. Though the practice is waning, many communities keeping the tradition alive are placing themselves at risk to contract a foodborne illness.

Is “tiger meat” safe to eat?We recommend cooking all ground meat to 160 °F. Eating raw meat is never safe because of bacteria and pathogens that could be present in the meat. Oftentimes, people think that grinding their own whole cuts of beef is a safer alternative. It is not.

Simply put, eating raw or undercooked ground beef or eggs poses a health risk to healthy individuals and an even greater health risk for people with weakened immune systems. Individuals at increased risk include pregnant women, young children, and people living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, or autoimmune disorders.

To be sure that all bacteria are destroyed, cook all dishes containing ground beef to 160 °F. The only way to tell if the temperature is right is with a food thermometer. Color is not an accurate indicator that ground beef is fully cooked.

Traditions have a special place in holiday celebrations, but make sure you aren’t putting loved ones at risk.


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Posted in: Holidays | IllnessTagged: Meat | Cooking Temperatures