An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of the dark, firm, and dry (DFD) condition of beef on growth of the foodborne pathogens Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Typhimurium DT104, and Listeria monocytogenes Scott A in ground beef. Longissimus muscles from a DFD carcass (pH = 6.45) and normal carcass (N; pH = 5.64) were ground and samples obtained (100 and 0% DFD, respectively). Equal amounts of the 0 and 100% DFD ground samples were mixed to obtain 50% DFD samples. Inoculated 0, 50, and 100% DFD samples were packaged into oxygen-permeable overwrap and stored at 10°C for E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella Typhimurium DT104, and L. monocytogenes Scott A or at 22°C for E. coli O157:H7. Growth characteristics of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella Typhimurium DT104, and L. monocytogenes Scott A did not differ (P > 0.05) between 0 and 100% DFD. Results indicated that the DFD beef used in this study was no more susceptible to growth of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella Typhimurium, or L. monocytogenes Scott A than N beef.
†Research supported by Idaho Beef Council, Boise, Idaho.