A Lactobacillus sake strain LKE5 and four strains of Carnobacterium piscicola were evaluated as biopreservation cultures to control the growth of Listeria monocytogenes on vacuum-packed, cold-smoked salmon stored at 5 degrees C. All five strains were antilisterial as live cultures in an agar diffusion assay. Cell-free supernatants of two strains of C. piscicola and L. sake LKE5 were also antilisterial because of the production of bacteriocins. The presence of high cell numbers of strains of C. piscicola had no influence on the sensory quality of cold-smoked salmon stored at 5 degrees C, but L. sake LKE5 caused strong sulfurous off-flavors and was rejected as a culture for biopreservation of cold-smoked salmon. A bacteriocin-producing strain of C. piscicola (A9b) initially caused a 7-day lag phase of L. monocytogenes, followed by a reduction in numbers of L. monocytogenes from 10(3) CFU/ml to below 10 CFU/ml after 32 days of incubation, coinciding with the detection of antilisterial compounds. The presence of a nonbacteriocin-producing strain of C. piscicola (A10a) prevented the growth of L. monocytogenes during the 32-day incubation. The growth of L. monocytogenes was strongly repressed on cold-smoked salmon in the presence of C. piscicola A9b and A 10a, respectively. The initial cell numbers of L. monocytogenes that were found on Oxford plates incubated at 25 degrees C reached low maximum cell counts of 10(4) and 2 x 10(3) after 14 and 20 days of storage in mixed culture with C. piscicola A9b and A10a.