Lactobacillus plantarum BFE 905 isolated from ‘Waldorf’ salad produced a bacteriocin termed plantaricin D which was active against Lact. sake and Listeria monocytogenes strains. Plantaricin D was heat stable, retaining activity after heating at 121 °C. The bacteriocin was inactivated by α-chymotrypsin, trypsin, pepsin and proteinase K, but not by papain and other non-proteolytic enzymes tested. Plantaricin D was stable at pH values ranging from 2·0 to 10·0. The bacteriocin inhibited growth of L. monocytogenes in automated turbidity assays. Although Lact. plantarum BFE 905 harboured plasmids ranging in size from 3 to 55 kilobase pairs, loss of bacteriocin production could not be correlated with plasmid loss. A role for bacteriocin-producing Lact. plantarum of vegetable origin in assuring the safety of vegetable foods is suggested.