Resazurin reduction time (RR), fluorescein diacetate hydrolysis (FDA), and aerobic plate count (APC) were monitored in aerobically packaged beef steaks stored at 4°C. FDA hydrolysis increased, while RR decreased with increased APC. As bacterial load increased from ca. 102 CFU/cm2 to 108 CFU/cm2, FDA activity (A490) increased from 0.1 to 0.6 units and RR decreased from 22 hr to <1 hr. Linear regression performed between APC and RR, and APC and FDA revealed r-values of 0.94 (P<0.001) and 0.92 (P<0.001), respectively. Results indicated that RR and FDA could be used as rapid methods to estimate spoilage bacterial load in aerobically stored meat.