Diarrhea is a major public health concern associated with pathogenic Escherichia coli infections. Foodborne pathogenic E. coli can lead to large diarrheal outbreaks and hence, there is a need to estimate the frequency of pathogenic E. coli load in the various types of meat available in markets. In the present study, we classified and characterized diarrheagenic E. coli isolates collected from 399 raw meat samples from retail sources in Korea. Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) were detected in 11 (9.7%) samples, including nine strains (8.0%) in beef and two strains (1.8%) in chicken. The frequency of the detected virulence markers were as follows: astA, 28.3%; escV,18.6%; eaeA,17.7%; ent, 7.0%; EHEC-hly, 4.4%; stx1, 3.5%; and stx2, 3.5%. We did not observe any typical EPEC, EIEC, or ETEC virulence determinants in any of the samples. The STEC serotype O26 was detected in one sample, but no other serogroups (O91, O103, O128, O157, O145, O111, and O121) were found. Further research is needed to better understand the virulence mechanism of STEC serotypes, their ecology, and prevalence in animals, food, and the environment. These results will help improve risk assessment and predict the sources of food poisoning outbreaks.