Membrane Filter Method Based On FC

Membrane filter method based on FC-5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-beta-D-glucuronide medium facilitates enumeration of Escherichia coli in foods and poultry carcass rinses.
J Food Prot 1998 Mar;61(3):360-4
Sharpe AN, Parrington LJ.
Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Health Canada, Tunney’s Pasture, Ottawa, Onatrio, Canada.

Three enumeration methods for Escherichia coli in foods, the Health Protection Branch most-probable-number (MPN) method MFHPB-19, a hydrophobic grid membrane filter method MFHPB-26 (HGMF-indole), and a hydrophobic grid membrane filter method utilizing 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-beta-D-glucuronide in a (modified) mFC agar (HGMF-FC-BCIG) were compared in 80 food samples that included naturally and artificially contaminated raw vegetables, mung bean and alfalfa sprouts, raw meats, and chicken carcass rinses. The number of samples confirmed as positive for E. coli were 44, 36, and 42 for the MPN, HGMF-indole, and HGMF-BCIG methods, respectively. By the MPN method, E. coli was detected in 3 samples at levels below the limits of detection of the HGMFs; but the MPN method was very time-consuming. With the HGMF-indole procedure E. coli was missed in 4 artificially contaminated samples. With the HGMF-FC-BCIG method E. coli was enumerated in 1 sample of bean sprouts missed by both the MPN and HGMF-indole procedures. High levels of indole-positive Klebsiella spp. in bean sprouts interfered with the HGMF-indole method, but the blue colonies of E. coli were easily observed in the HGMF-FC-BCIG method. Specificity of the HGMF-FC-BCIG method is high enough that routine confirmation should be unnecessary; however, confirmation of presumptive E. coli is easier since no lethal indole-staining step is involved. It appears to be a very simple method for quantifying E. coli in foods or carcass rinses.