Boning of unchilled beef carcasses offers potential savings in energy, labor, safety, yield, and when coupled with electrical stimulation, provides tender beef with good water-holding capacity. Breaking of unrefrigerated beef carcasses into primals, subprimals and manufactured meat products, such as ground beef, provides the potential for increased levels of spoilage and pathogenic bacteria to contaminate the meat surfaces. Research carried out to characterize the influence of hot-boning and electrical stimulation on the microbial levels on beef carcasses, primals, ground beef and meat from other species showed that hot-boning of carcasses of any species need not cause inordinate increases of any groups of microorganisms on or in the resultant meat. The electrical stimulation treatment cannot be clearly shown to be responsible for improved microbial counts but the treatment did not cause an increase in counts. Present microbiological data do not preclude use of electrical stimulation coupled to hot-boning.

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