Samples from raw chill-stored vacuum-packed beef, lamb and venison or the meat processing environment, associated with a spoilage problem, but negative for Clostridium estertheticum using a specific real-time PCR test, were examined for other Clostridium spp. using direct 16S rDNA PCR-RFLP and sequencing. Of 291 samples tested by PCR, presence of clostridia was indicated in 123 and there was sufficient PCR product in 35 to be further investigated. Presence of Clostridium spp. was confirmed by RFLP and sequencing in 25/35 samples (11 of 14 incidents). Species detected in spoiled meat were (incidents): Clostridium tagluense-like (4), Clostridium putrefaciens (2), Clostridium algidicarnis (3), Clostridium frigoris/estertheticum-like (3) and Clostridium. gasigenes (2). More than one species was detected in some incidents. All of the above species have previously been associated with spoiled meat apart from the Cl. tagluense-like species. Clostridia were also confirmed in 4/7 samples from the environment, with two Cl. frigoris/estertheticum-like and two mesophilic species of Clostridium. Our study showed that, cold-tolerant Clostridium species other than Cl. estertheticum are occasionally associated with spoiled vacuum-packed meat, particularly lamb. Further studies are required to confirm the exact identity of the Cl. tagluense-like species and its role in meat spoilage.