A warning for holiday party goers to skip the raw meat. It may sound like common sense, but the holidays often bring some ethnic delicacies out to the table at parties. Those include dishes made with raw beef, such as tiger meat, steak tartare, or cannibal sandwiches. They can be tasty to some, but Donna Gilson with DATCP says they can also make a recipe for disaster.
Raw meat can contain pathogens and bacteria such as Salmonella, listeria, and E. Coli. For the most part, they won’t be fatal, but being exposed to them will likely lead to an extreme illness.
Gilson says the largest outbreak of a food borne illness in state history is tied to raw meat served at a 1994 holiday party. In that case, over 160 people contracted Salmonella poisoning from tiger meat, a dish typically made with raw ground beef, onions, raw eggs, and usually served on crackers.
If you insist on serving those dishes, Gilson says there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of making your guests sick. They include washing your hands, keeping the food on ice, and buying high quality meat. If your recipe calls for raw eggs, consider skipping that step.
Even with those precautions, Gilson still says the best way to avoid illness is to just not serve those dishes at all.