Technical data sheet
Standard Microbiology Supplies
AOAC 996.02; Compendium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Food 5th Edition: Chapter 9
Sample size requirements
Coliform testing is used as an indicator of general sanitation. They are generally found in soil and water and are prevalent in raw agricultural commodities like flour. A high coliform count can be indicative of sanitation issues.
E. coli is one of many species of coliforms and is an indicator of possible fecal contamination. E. coli counts will never be higher than coliform counts.
Fecal contamination can never be inferred from coliform results alone. If a product has high coliform counts with no E. coli testing and information concerning possible fecal contamination is desired, the sample will need to be retested for E. coli.