Coliforms are often referred to as “indicator organisms.” In and of themselves, they are not pathogenic. However, their presence in the environment can indicate that conditions are favorable for pathogens to be present. Generic E. coli is also a Coliform, but of fecal origin. The presence of generic E. coli in a sample indicates fecal contamination. The Total Coliform/E. coli test is a fast and inexpensive way to assess the cleanliness of an environment or food. It can also be used to glean information regarding the potential for other contamination.
The resulting enumerated results can be applied to internal acceptance criteria for a product or environmental HACCP samples. This is also a useful test to gauge freshness of a product or validate sanitation procedures.
50g minimum sample is recommended. Environmental surface samples can also be analyzed.
EMSL Test Codes: F104 (Petrifilm AOAC 991.14, 998.08), F157 (FDA BAM Ch. 4)
Sample retention time – 30 days, unless highly perishable