Comparison of EC broth and medium A-1 for the recovery of Escherichia coli from frozen shucked snow crab.


Two variations of the multiple-tube fermentation technique were used to enumerate fecal coliforms in commercially processed, frozen crab meat. These were the EC confirmation test and a more rapid method that requires medium A-1. The method with medium A-1 was more specific than the EC confirmation test for detecting Escherichia coli type 1. E. coli was isolated from 84% of the positive medium A-1 tubes, whereas it was isolated from only 64% of the positive tubes of EC broth. When samples of crab meat were inoculated with known amounts of E. coli, better estimates of the known numbers were obtained by the medium A-1 method. Several species of nonfecal coliforms were isolated from cultures in EC broth. These belonged to the genera Klebsiella, Citrobacter, Enterobacter, and Serratia. Apparently these strains were naturally adapted to growth at an elevated temperature because the majority were able to grow at 44.5 degrees C when retested in EC broth. Fewer species of nonfecal coliforms were isolated from medium A-1. Those that were isolated belonged to the genera Citrobacter and Enterobacter.

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