A microbiological examination of vacuum-packaged strip loin steaks that were defective (gassy packages, hydrogen sulfide odor) revealed high total counts (107–108/cm2) with Hafnia alvei, Lactobacillus and Pseudomonas spp. as major isolates. Re-inoculation experiments indicated that H. alvei was the likely cause of the hydrogen sulfide odor. Gas formation resulted from the activity of heterofermentative lactobacilli and H. alvei. Improvements in plant practices and temperature control eliminated the problem.

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