The ageing of beef is essential to provide a tender product which is deemed acceptable by consumers, with beef processors routinely ageing beef for ~ 14 d at 0–2 °C. The rate of tenderisation is directly affected by temperature, and as such the possibility of decreasing the required ageing time by increasing storage temperature could provide an opportunity to decrease associated costs. To test this, 320 beef M. longissimus lumborum portions were subjected to one of 72temperature-time combinations (TTC) incorporating temperatures of 3, 5 or 7 °C and ageing times of 6, 8, 10 or 12 d, with some temperature changes occurring during ageing. Controls (n = 32) were held at ~ 1 °C for 14 d. The application of TTCs did not affect beef quality, however longer storage at higher temperatures resulted in higher microbial loadings. Therefore, it can be concluded that shorter, cooler TTCs could be implemented to decrease ageing time requirements and maintain beef safety.