A 2% lactic acid wash used in a large meat-processing facility was validated as an effective critical control point (CCP) in a hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) plan. We examined the microbial profiles of beef carcasses before the acid wash, beef carcasses immediately after the acid wash, beef carcasses 24 h after the acid wash, beef subprimal cuts from the acid-washed carcasses, and on ground beef made from acid-washed carcasses. Total mesophilic, psychrotrophic, coliforms, generic Escherichia coli, lactic acid bacteria, pseudomonads, and acid-tolerant microorganisms were enumerated on all samples. The presence of Salmonella spp. was also determined. Acid washing significantly reduced all counts except for pseudomonads that were present at very low numbers before acid washing. All other counts continued to stay significantly lower (P < 0.05) than those on pre-acid-washed carcasses throughout all processing steps. Total bacteria, coliforms, and generic E. coli enumerated on ground beef samples were more than 1 log cycle lower than those reported in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Baseline data. This study suggests that acid washes may be effective CCPs in HACCP plans and can significantly reduce the total number of microorganisms present on the carcass and during further processing.