ISO 16649-3:2015 specifies a horizontal method for the detection and enumeration of β-glucuronidase positive Escherichia coli, by means of the liquid-medium culture technique and calculation of the most probable number (MPN) after incubation at (37 ± 1) °C, then at (44 ± 1) °C. This part of ISO 16649 is applicable to the following:
- products intended for human consumption and the feeding of animals;
- environmental samples in the area of food production and food handling.
The method is suitable for the enumeration of cells of E. coli that might have been subjected to stress arising from dehydration, freezing, and exposure to a saline (such as marine) environment or damage by disinfectants such as chlorine-containing products.
A limitation of the applicability of this part of ISO 16649 is imposed by the susceptibility of the method to a large degree of variability. The method is intended to be applied and the results interpreted in the light of the information given in Clause 11.
This method has not been fully evaluated for all matrices (e.g. for milk and milk products). ISO 7251 is intended to be used for milk and milk products.