Deeper knowledge of the potentiality of aromatic plants can provide results of economic importance for food and pharmacological industry. The essential oils of seven Lamiaceae species were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and assayed for their antibacterial, antifungal and mutagenic activities. Monoterpenes in the oils ranged between 82.47% (hyssop oil) and 97.48% (thyme oil), being mainly represented by oxygenated compounds. The antibacterial activity was evaluated against six pathogenic and five non-pathogenic bacterial strains. Oregano and thyme oils showed the strongest antibacterial activity against the pathogenic ones. The antifungal activity was evaluated against six fungal strains of agrifood interest: the oils tested exhibited variable degrees of activity. Two Salmonella typhimurium strains were used to assess the possible mutagenic activity. No oil showed mutagenic activity. Data obtained let us hypothesise that the use of essential oils could be a viable and safe way to decrease the utilisation of synthetic food preservatives. Further research is needed to obtain information regarding the practical effectiveness of essential oils to prevent the growth of food borne and spoiling microbes under specific application conditions.