The current edition of the compendium of methods for the microbiological examination of foods states that they do not see any meaningful correlation between the presence colform/APC/or EB "indicator organisms" and pathogens (including E. coli) in food products and environments. This was agreed in addition by the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods.
That being said, if you're referring to specific test results. Depending on the method, absence of coliforms could indicate that that particular sample also did not contain E. coli that the method is able to detect.
Sometimes, and it depends. :)Go to the full post