The inhibitory action of tea polyphenols towards the development and growth of bacterial spores was examined. Among the tested Bacillus bacteria, tea polyphenols showed antibacterial effects towards Bacillus stearothermophilus, which is a thermophilic spore-forming bacterium. The heat resistance of B. stearothermophilus spores was reduced by the addition of tea polyphenols. Clostridium thermoaceticum, an anaerobic spore-forming bacterium, also exhibited reduced heat resistance of its spores in the presence of tea polyphenols. (-)-Epigallocatechin gallate, which is the main component of tea polyphenols, showed strong activity against both B. stearothermophilus and C. thermoaceticum. The heat resistance of these bacterial spores was more rapidly decreased by the addition of tea polyphenols at high temperatures.