Translocation of Escherichia coli among beef loins processed with a mechanical tenderizer was evaluated. Two beef striploins were inoculated on the lean side with 6.4 to 7.2 ml of a nalidixic acid-resistant E. coli at 8.2 to 10.1 log CFU/ml. Total E. coli inoculated onto striploins ranged from 1.12 × 10 9 to 9.10 × 10 10 CFU. Striploins were passed once (lean side up, anterior end first) through a mechanical blade tenderizer. After the inoculated striploins had been tenderized, uninoculated beef striploins (n = 5) were passed once (lean side up, anterior end first) through the same mechanical tenderizer. This procedure was repeated twice for a total of 12 striploins. Six core samples were taken from each striploin starting with the anterior end. Each core was cut into six sections; sections 1 through 4 represented the top 4 cm of the core sample, and sections 5 and 6 represented the remaining part of the core split in half. After tenderization, E. coli levels were highest (P < 0.05) in loin 1. Loin 2 had higher levels (P < 0.05) than did loins 4, 5, and 6. No differences in E. coli levels (P > 0.05) were found among loins 3, 4, 5, and 6, for which levels were below the limit of detection. Levels of E. coli from section 1 were higher than those for all other sections. Section 2 had higher levels (P < 0.05) than did sections 3, 4, 5, and 6. E. coli recovery from section 6 was higher (P < 0.05) than that from sections 3, 4, and 5. No differences in E. coli recovery (P > 0.05) were found among sections 3, 4, and 5. Data indicate that even after inoculation of E. coli a high initial levels, contamination from one loin to another is quickly reduced to <10 CFU/g.