The aim of this study was to compare the antibacterial effects of several essential oils (EOs) alone and in combination against different Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria associated with food products. Parsley, lovage, basil, and thyme EOs, as well as their mixtures (1:1, v/v), were tested against Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella typhimurium. The inhibitory effects ranged from strong (thyme EO against E. coli) to no inhibition (parsley EO against P. aeruginosa). Thyme EO exhibited strong (against E. coli), moderate (against S. typhimurium and B. cereus), or mild inhibitory effects (against P. aeruginosa and S. aureus), and basil EO showed mild (against E. coli and B. cereus) or no inhibitory effects (against S. typhimurium, P. aeruginosa, and S. aureus). Parsley and lovage EOs revealed no inhibitory effects against all tested strains. Combinations of lovage/thyme and basil/thyme EOs displayed antagonistic effects against all bacteria, parsley/thyme EOs against B. cereus, S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and E. coli, and lovage/basil EOs against B. cereus and E. coli. Combinations of parsley/lovage and parsley/basil EOs exhibited indifferent effects against all bacteria. The combination of lovage/basil EO showed indifferent effect against S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and S. typhimurium, and the combination parsley/thyme EO against S. typhimurium. Thyme EO has the highest percentage yield and antibacterial potential from all tested formulations; its combination with parsley, lovage, and basil EOs determines a reduction of its antibacterial activity. Hence, it is recommended to be used alone as the antibacterial agent. © 2016

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