In the ’70s and ’80s, University of Colorado students would gorge themselves on a banquet of raw meat, red onions and jalapeno peppers as part of an annual Packer Day feast that was held in honor of Alfred G. Packer, a convicted cannibal who ate five of his companions after a snowstorm trapped them in the San Juan mountains in the winter of 1873.
Though Packer Day has since been deemed to have been in bad taste, there’s another state in the U.S. where eating raw meat remains an annual winter custom — or does it?
In Wisconsin, it is a holiday tradition to eat a slice of bread topped with a spread of fresh raw ground beef, chopped onions and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Known as a cannibal sandwich.
“There is a safe way to enjoy this tradition but it must be done with the utmost care of cleanliness,” Peisker says. “E. coli lives on the outside of the meat until it is cut or ground to the inside of the product. That is why it is safer to eat a steak rare than a burger. In a burger, the outside surface of the meat is all mixed together in the grinding process. If you want to try this, it would be best to try it at home with a very clean and sanitized grinder. If you really want to be safe, trim the outside of your meat and save it for another project and only use the inside that didn’t touch any of the cutting board that touched the outside of the cut before grinding. Or, get the meat from your trusted local butcher and enjoy.
If you do give it a shot, plan accordingly.
A raw meat sandwich very popular at Green Bay Packers games, together with other picnic foods at tailgating parties.
In a bowl, mix ground beef, chopped onion, and eggs. Season with salt an pepper.
Distribute over among slices of bread. Put another slice of bread on top. Ready!