ABSTRACT

The Bacillus cereus group of bacteria, which causes foodborne diseases, can be detected by culture on selective media. However, the presence of competing flora is the most common factor preventing the accurate enumeration of B. cereus on selective agars. In this study, we improved the selectivity of mannitol–yolk–polymyxin B agar (MYPA) and its modified version containing trimethoprim (mMYPA) developed in our previous study by supplementation with ceftazidime (16 μg/mL). Ceftazidime-supplemented MYPA (C-MYPA16) and mMYPA (C-mMYPA16) were evaluated for bacteria recovery and selectivity with three types of ready-to-eat vegetables. Four B. cereus and one Bacillus thuringiensis strains were mixed and artificially inoculated into vegetable salad, radish sprouts, and sprout mix and then recovered on MYPA, mMYPA, C-MYPA16, and C-mMYPA16. In all tested vegetables, mMYPA, C-MYPA16, and C-mMYPA16 culture resulted in similar recovery of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis (P > 0.05), whereas radish sprout and sprout mix colonies grown on MYPA were undistinguishable. C-mMYPA16 was the most selective medium because it eliminated most of the competing flora, especially that in sprouts, without negatively affecting the recovery of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. Our results indicate that supplementation of mMYPA with ceftazidime may improve the selectivity of this medium for B. cereus and B. thuringiensis in food testing.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Enumeration of bacteria in the B. cereus group in ready-to-eat vegetables is difficult.

  • Addition of ceftazidime to MYPA improved selectivity for B. cereus group.

  • These new media are useful for detection of bacteria in ready-to-eat vegetables.

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