July 23, 2024

USDA: Avoid E. coli by Leaving Raw Beef of the Holiday Menu

Eating raw meat can cause E. coli infections and other illnesses, so leave raw beef dishes off the menu this holiday season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture advises. Some families consider raw meat dishes, such as tartare, kibbeh and “Tiger Meat” a holiday traditions, but they pose serious health risks.

E coli bacteriaIn December 2012, 17 people in Wisconsin got E.coli poisoning from eating a raw beef and onion mixture sometimes called “Tiger Meat.”  In 1994,  a raw beef outbreak sickened more than 100 people in Wisconsin.

E.coli causes severe stomach cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody. In a some cases a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can develop. HUS which most often strikes young children with E. coli infections causes kidney failure, stroke, seizure, coma and death.

Ground beef should only be consumed if it has been cooked to an internal temperature of 160˚F. Using a meat thermometer is the only way to tell if meat has been safely cooked.

What’s more says the USDA, ground beef isn’t the only risky ingredient in these dishes. Raw eggs can be a source of Salmonella, Campylobcater and Listeria. So, if a raw meat mixture is a holiday tradition, make a new one.



  1. Being in the food safety business, I cannot imagine anyone eating raw meat products, eggs, or unpasteurized milk. Hens ovaries carry things that do not harm them, but harm us. It is kindav nearly natural for them to do this. It is one of the most basic food safety measures to cook these products to the proper internal temperature. I am aware of cultures which do eat raw meat, but they need to change their traditions. Lets call it a modern upgrade.

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