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It's Curtains for Tainted Roast Beef

By Shannon in Food on Oct 7, 2006 2:00PM

On a recent road trip out to St. Charles, Chicagoist believes we spotted no less than three Portillo's restaurants on I-64. Being a sucker for a killer breaded chicken sammich and an equally lethal chocolate shake (their fries ain't bad neither), we yearned to pull over for a little anti-diet naughtiness. It's turning out to be a good thing we didn't, for on Friday Portillo's recalled 3,703 pounds of roast beef.

Italian beef
The pre-sliced, fully-cooked roast beef was found to possibly be incubating the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, found through in-house microbiological testing of "by-products and scraps." This bacteria has the potential to cause listeriosis, which in turn can cause fever, nausea, diarrhea, stiffness in the neck and severe headache, sometimes even death. Pregnant women, children and the elderly are the most susceptible (aren't they always? we'd be interested in seeing a disease that preys on health nuts), especially unborn children.

No one has gotten sick as of yet; Portillo's and the Illinois Department of Agriculture seem to have a pretty good lock on the situation. They even know exactly which lots they need to recall. Still, 530 packages of the tainted meat have been distributed to various outlets around the Chicagoland area. That's a lot of beef, folks. In our opinion, it'd be a shame to just dump it. We think it'd be put to better use on a Cannibal Corpse album cover. Or it could gain second life as abstract art. In fact, this gives us an idea for an ice sculpture alternative ... anyone have a wedding coming up? Come and get it!

Image courtesy of wikipedia.