A study was done to evaluate a new rapid detection method for bacterial pathogens, including E. coli 0157:H7, Salmonella typhimurium, and Listeria monocytogenes. The system is based on a sophisticated biosensor and uses fiber optic technology and antibodies to identify the bacterial pathogens within 30-35 minutes after products such as ground beef are sampled. The fiber optic biosensor detects the pathogens fluorescent antibody signal that is captured by a second antibody immobilized to the surface of a fiber optic probe. The sensor is compact and portable and can be set up for manual operation in less than 15 minutes. The fiber optic biosensor can be combined with enrichment broths to determine viability of bacterial pathogens within two hours. Unlike conventional procedures that are time consuming and provide delayed results, the fiber optic biosensor assay identifies in near real time bacterial pathogens directly form beef and beef products. This new method shows great promise for the rapid detection of pathogens in beef.