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A Safer Way To Get Your 'Cannibal' Fix...

By Julia Weeman in Food on Dec 8, 2013 9:00PM

Wagyu Steak Tartare at the The Publican, 837 W. Fulton. Also a fine option. Photo via D. Majettex

The CDC is cautioning against a Midwestern holiday tradition known as the "cannibal sandwich." An appetizer that originated in Wisconsin, the dish is comprised of lean ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper and served on rye cocktail bread with sliced raw onion.

To the dismay of the CDC, a raw egg is sometimes also mixed in with the meat, creating a perfect environment for a host of bacterias that will almost certainly ruin your holiday. The traditional appetizer has been linked to several cases of foodborne illness, many of which have been tied to the presence of E. Coli bacteria. E. Coli leads to a host of unpleasant symptoms and in the most severe cases, can cause kidney failure.

Thankfully, for those who can't get into the holidays without a little raw beef, there are a host of safer options than the traditionally homemade version. Carpaccio is a great choice - RPM has a natural beef carpaccio with crispy mushroom & pecorino. Embeya's version, however, has maitake, marinated peppers, and chili oil. Tartare is another way to get your cannibal fix - Travelle's beef tartare in marrow bone is particularly primal, or stray from the traditional beef with The Berkshire Room's bison tartare with caper relish egg "jam" & crostini.

If it doesn't feel like Christmas without raw beef, then leave the preparation to the professionals with those four dishes.