The microbiological safety of ready-to-eat (RTE) foods is of special concern as they are not exposed to further processing before consumption. In the present study, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella spp. were isolated from 15(6%) and 21(8%) samples respectively out of 261 RTE foods commercialized in Turkey. Escherichia coli was present in 10(4%) samples analyzed. Psychrotrophic aerobic populations >6 log CFU/g were found in 36 (14%) of the samples, while total coliforms were detected in 155 (59%) of samples analyzed. All of the Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes isolates tested, exhibited resistance to one or more antimicrobial agents used. For Salmonella spp. isolates, resistance to penicillin (69%), erythromycin (38%), gentamicin (36%), tetracycline (36%) neomycin (33%), ampicillin (33%), amikacin (33%), vancomycin (33%), streptomycin (29%) cefotaxime (9%) and oxacillin (9%) was observed. For L. monocytogenes isolates, resistance to erythromycin (23%) and cephalothin (20%) was evident. The presence of pathogens and the relatively high resistance among the bacteria tested in RTE foods could pose public health and therapeutic problems in consumers. These results indicate the need of implementing hygienic rules in the production chain of RTE foods to ensure microbiological safety and to improve shelf life. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.