Cooked, vacuum packaged beef top rounds injected with 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4% sodium lactate were stored up to 84 days at 0°C. Aerobic plate counts (APC), water activity, pH and lactic acid content were determined at 14-day intervals. Microbial distributions were characterized following 0.56 and 84 days storage. Increasing sodium lactate resulted in reduction in APC. Water activity was not affected by sodium lactate level. Decreases in pH were minimized at sodium lactate >3%. Initially, the microflora of roasts consisted primarily of Micrococcus and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp. After 84 days the microflora consisted primarily of hetero- and homofermentative Lactobacillus spp. No differences in APC, lactic acid content, pH or water activity occurred between top rounds with 3 and 4% sodium lactate. Cooked, refrigerated roast beef injected with up to 3 or 4% sodium lactate had microbial shelf-life up to 84 days.