A new agar medium for isolation of Yersinia enterocolitica was formulated based on growth studies which defined an optimum basal, and the evaluation of selective chemical agents, dyes, and antibiotics. The final formulation, designated cefsulodin-irgasan-novobiocin(CIN) agar, provided quantitative recovery of 40 different strains of Y. enterocolitica in 24 h using incubation at 32 degrees C or with 48 h of incubation at 22 degrees C. The medium was highly selective, especially against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Proteus mirabilis. Colony morphology coupled with a differential reaction resulting from mannitol fermentation permitted discrimination of Y. enterocolitica from most of those Gram-negative bacteria that were able to grow on the medium. Recovery and selective characteristics of CIN agar were stable during storage at room temperature for 9 days. CIN agar gave a higher recovery of Y. enterocolitica from feces both direct and with cold enrichment (0.4/1.5%) than Salmonella-Shigella (0.0/0.7%) and MacConkey (0.0/0.9%) agars while significantly reducing the level of background organisms.