Pastirma was produced from beef meat contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 to investigate the effects of protective cultures on the behavior of E. coli O157:H7 in pastirma manufacturing. After being contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 (10(5) cfu/g), meats for pastirma were divided into two groups. The control group was untreated meat, and the treatment group was meat in which protective cultures (Lactobacillus sakei + Staphylococcus xylosus) were added. E. coli O157:H7 was decreased during processing and showed approximately a 3 log cycle reduction at the end of the production. At the end of the second drying step, there was a difference in E. coli O157:H7 levels between the cultured and control groups. There was no such difference after the other manufacturing steps. As a result, it was concluded that the most important factor effecting reduction of E. coli O157:H7 in pastirma production was loss of water in the drying process.