© 2017 The Royal Society for Public HealthObjective The aim of this study is to trace the possible relations between the hygienic status of slicing utensils and the microbiological quality of pastrami. Study Design A total of 75 pastrami retail markets were visited in Kayseri, Turkey, where the pastrami (a ready-to-eat meat product) is commonly produced and consumed. Sliced pastrami, the cutting board and knife surface swabs were collected from each pastrami retail point to trace possible sources of contamination. Methods Samples were analysed for the presence of total viable counts (TVC), total coliforms, Escherichia coli, members of Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria spp. In addition, pastrami samples were analysed for sulphite-reducing Clostridium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii. Results When compared with the target values of related literatures, a total of 6 (8%) pastrami samples were found unsatisfactory as a result of TVC (5.3%), Enterobacteriaceae (5.3%), E. coli (2.6%), S. aureus (2.6%), Listeria spp. (2.6%) and Listeria monocytogenes (1.3%) contaminations. No T. gondii positivity was observed among the pastrami samples. None of the cutting board and knife surface swabs were found to harbour TVC level >103 cfu/cm2, E. coli and L. monocytogenes. For the total coliforms, 7 (9.3%) and 5 (6.6%) of cutting board and knife surface swabs were found to exceed the target value (<2.5 cfu/cm2), respectively. No statistically significant correlation was detected between the organisms on pastrami and slicing utensils indicating that pastrami were not cross-contaminated by the contact surfaces. Conclusion More emphasis needs to be placed for training of food handlers and to apply good hygienic practices at the point of pastrami sale. The conditions at retail points must be monitored and inspections should be tightened to protect public health.