Along with other lactic acid bacteria, enterococci are used in food products and as health promoting agents. The safety of these products must be ensured, because they contain potentially pathogenic microorganisms. Here we present an in vitro opsonophagocytic assay that closely mimics the protective human immune response to Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium. A collection of closely related E. faecalis isolates used as probiotics showed different susceptibilities to opsonic killing, suggesting that some of these isolates possess a capsule while other do not. This information may be helpful in assessing the safety of a given bacterial isolate used and could detect likely enterococcal candidates for probiotic preparations.