The microflora of steaks prepared from 14-day old vacuum-packaged beef strip loins obtained from a commercial packing plant consisted primarily of Leuconostoc sp. with smaller percentages of Pseudomonas sp. and homofermentative lactobacilli. Steaks stored for 10 days at 1 ± 1 C in O2 (65–80%) + CO2 (20–25%) + N2 (0–10%) atmospheres in the dark were rated inferior (surface discoloration, overall acceptability) to steaks prepared from loins which had been stored for an additional 10 days in vacuum packages. Additional storage for 4 days under retail conditions (2 ± 2 C) caused further deterioration of quality. Aerobic plate counts of steaks prepared from loins which had been stored in vacuum packages for an additional 10 days were about 2 logs lower than those of comparable steaks held in O2-CO2-N2 atmospheres.

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