Fried ground beef has been shown to contain mutagens, and the major mutagenic component has been identified as 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx). Mutagens in feces of 3 adult volunteers were fractionated by treatment of the feces with blue cotton followed by chromatography on a carboxymethyl cellulose column. The chromatographic fraction, corresponding to MeIQx in terms of the position of elution, was examined for mutagenicity in S. typhimurium TA98 with metabolic activation. When meals containing no heated meat were eaten, this fraction of feces showed little or no mutagenicity. On eating fried ground beef, the feces excreted in the next two days showed greatly increased mutagenicity in this fraction. By eating no-meat meal subsequent to the meat meal, the mutagenicity resumed the original low level on the fourth day after the meat meal. The components in the mutagenic fraction were probably metabolites of the mutagens present in cooked meat, since analysis by high pressure liquid chromatography of the mutagenic fraction showed that the active components in the feces were different from the mutagens in cooked meat.