Skip to main content

Microbiological Status of Fresh Beef Cuts

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Fresh beef samples (n = 1,022) obtained from two processing plants in the Midwest (July to December 2003) were analyzed for levels of microbial populations (total aerobic plate count, total coliform count, and Escherichia coli count) and for the presence or absence of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella. A fresh beef cut sample was a 360-g composite of 6-g portions excised from the surface of 60 individual representative cuts in a production lot. Samples of fresh beef cuts yielded levels of 4.0 to 6.2, 1.1 to 1.8, and 0.8 to 1.0 log CFU/g for total aerobic plate count, total coliform count, and E. coli count, respectively. There did not appear to be substantial differences or obvious trends in bacterial populations on different cuts. These data may be useful in establishing a baseline or a benchmark of microbiological levels of contamination of beef cuts. Mean incidence rates of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella on raw beef cuts were 0.3 and 2.2%, respectively. Of the 1,022 samples analyzed, cuts testing positive for E. coli O157:H7 included top sirloin butt (0.9%) and butt, ball tip (2.1%) and for Salmonella included short loins (3.4%), strip loins (9.6%), rib eye roll (0.8%), shoulder clod (3.4%), and clod, top blade (1.8%). These data provide evidence of noticeable incidence of pathogens on whole muscle beef and raise the importance of such contamination on product that may be mechanically tenderized. Levels of total aerobic plate count, total coliform count, and E. coli count did not (P ≥ 0.05) appear to be associated with the presence of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella on fresh beef cuts. E. O157:H7 was exclusively isolated from cuts derived from the sirloin area of the carcass. Salmonella was exclusively isolated from cuts derived from the chuck, rib, and loin areas of the carcass. Results of this study suggest that contamination of beef cuts may be influenced by the region of the carcass from which they are derived.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute for Environmental Health, Inc., 15300 Bothell Way N.E., Seattle, Washington 98155, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2006

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more