Press Release

October 6, 2006



SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A Chicago food service company is voluntarily recalling 3,703 pounds of sliced roast beef that may have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Meat and Poultry announced today.

The fully-cooked, sliced roast beef was produced on Sept. 27 by Portillo’s Food Service, Inc. and distributed to select Portillo’s restaurant outlets in the greater Chicagoland area. The possible exposure was discovered through in-plant microbiological testing. IDOA has received no reports of illness associated with consumption of this product.

Approximately 330 two-point-five pound packages and 200 one pound packages of roast beef have been distributed. Each package bears the establishment number “Est. 670” inside the Illinois Department of Agriculture mark of inspection, as well as the product codes “0912706”, “0912706T”, “0922706.”

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenescan cause listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea.

Healthy people rarely contract Listeriosis. However, it can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened immune systems including infants, the elderly and persons with HIV infection or undergoing chemotherapy. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and still births.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture advises anyone with symptoms of Listeriosis to contact a doctor immediately. Questions about the recall can be directed to Portillo’s Quality Control Manager at (630) 954-3773 ext. 108. Questions about food safety can be directed to the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Meat and Poultry at (217) 782-6684 and if you have questions about illness associated with Listeria, please call your local health department or the Illinois Department of Public Health at (217) 782-2016.


People at risk of Listeriosis and their family members or individuals preparing food for them should:

  • Reheat until steaming hot the following types of ready-to-eat foods: hot dogs, luncheon meats, fermented and dry sausage and other deli-style meat and poultry products. Thoroughly reheating food can help kill any bacteria that might be present. If you cannot reheat these foods, don’t eat them.
  • Wash hands with hot, soapy water after handling these types of ready-to-eat foods. Also with hot soapy water, wash cutting boards, dished and utensils. Thorough washing helps eliminate any bacteria that might get on your hands or other surfaces from food before it is reheated.
  • Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined or Mexican-style cheese. You can eat hard cheeses, processed cheeses, cream cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt.
  • Do not drink raw, unpasteurized milk or eat food made from it such as unpasteurized cheese.
  • Observe all expiration dates for perishable items that are precooked or ready-to-eat.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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