The bacteriological quality of ground beef chub packs prepared from beef sides at 2 h postmortem (hot-boned) and opposite sides conventionally chilled for 24 h at 3 C (cold-boned) were compared at the time of preparation and at 3-day intervals up to 45 days of storage at 0 C. Aerobic plate counts (APCs) in ground beef from hot-boned beef were either significantly lower or not significantly different from APCs in ground beef from cold-boned carcasses. There were no significant differences of any practical importance in Most Probable Numbers (MPNs) of coliforms and Escherichia coli between hot-boned and cold-boned ground beef stored at 0 C. Ground beef prepared from hot-boned beef offers great potential to the meat industry for energy conservation. The bacteriological quality of ground beef from hot-boned carcasses does not limit and might enhance the feasibility of boning carcasses before chilling.

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