The left sides of U.S. Choice carcasses were electrically stimulated (ES) and the right sides were not (Not-ES); sides were transported to a retail distribution center, cut and packaged. Vacuum-packaged subprimal cuts (top round; outside round; full loin, trimmed; ribeye roll; chuck--blade portion; shoulder clod roast) were shipped to a retail store and cut into retail cuts. Weight loss of vacuum-packaged primals during storage did not differ (P>0.05) between ES and Not-ES treatments for any of the six subprimal cuts. Muscle color of 7-bone roasts at the beginning of retail display was the only appearance characteristic improved (P<0.05) for any steak or roast as a result of ES. No differences (P>0.05) were observed between ES and Not-ES beef for muscle color, surface discoloration or overall appearance of top round or porterhouse steaks. ES did not (P>0.05) affect the shrink loss of retail cuts at 2 or 3 days of display. Microbiological evaluations of ES and Not-ES retail cuts did not produce consistent results. Muscle fiber tenderness for sirloin steaks (gluteus medius) increased (P<0.05) as a result of ES; however, ES resulted in higher (P<0.02) shear force values for ribeye steaks (longissimus). Neither sensory panel ratings nor shear force values differed (P>0.05) between treatments for bottom round roasts; however, shoulder pot roasts from ES sides had more detectable connective tissue (P<0.03), less overall tenderness (P<0.008) and less overall palatability (P<0.04) than did shoulder pot roasts from Not-ES sides.

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