This study was conducted to determine the extent to which pathogenic contamination occurs in all of the raw ingredients that are used to manufacture ground beef products and to discover where contamination occurs. Samples were collected from packing plants, processing plants and retail stores that were dispersed across the major geographic regions. All samples were collected and evaluated for the absence/presence of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni/coli and Listeria monocytogenes. The overall incidence for pathogens in the samples was low. No samples were found to contain E. coli O157:H7, however, a single sample of a ground beef patty was found to have E. coli O105:H8. This is a very rare H-type that has not been previously associated with human foodborne illness outbreaks. Listeria monocytogenes was the most prevalent pathogen detected in this study, occurring most frequently in samples from retail stores. The incidence of Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter jejuni/coli was generally low and most likely to contaminate the beef via the live animal. Across all samples the incidence of Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter jejuni/coli in this study was higher than reported in the 1993-94 USDA Nationwide Federal Plant Raw Ground Beef Microbiological Survey. However, incidence of Samonella spp. was substantially lower.