Some strains of Escherichia coli can be important food borne pathogens. Characterization and antimicrobial resistance testing of 28 E. coli isolates from random food samples obtained in Van, Turkey were performed. Primers for 6 indicator genes (fliC, stx1, stx2, eae, hlyA, and rfbE) for shiga toxin-producing E. coli and 5 indicator genes for each pathogroup (bfpA, aggR, ipaH, daaD, st, and lt) were used. E. coli isolates were also typed using pulsed field gel electrophoresis with the XbaI restriction enzyme. Antimicrobial susceptibility of E. coli isolates was determined using the disk diffusion method for 17 antimicrobials. E. coli isolates were non-pathogenic strains represented by 25 distinguishable PFGE patterns. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed that more than 40% of the E. coli isolates showed resistance to ampicillin, sulphafurazole, and tetracycline. Antimicrobial susceptibility of commensal E. coli should be monitored because these bacteria are becoming reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance genes.