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To investigate the production of bacteriocin-like compounds by Bacillus spp. isolated from the Amazon basin.An antimicrobial substance produced by Bacillus licheniformis strain P40 was inhibitory to a broad range of indicator strains, such as Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus and clinical isolates of Streptococcus spp. The compound was stable at 100°C, but lost its activity when treated at 121°C/103·5 kPa for 15 min. It was resistant to the proteolytic action of trypsin and papain but sensitive to pronase E and was stable within a wide range of pH (3–11). The substance was bactericidal and bacteriolytic to L. monocytogenes.An antibacterial peptide produced by Bacillus licheniformis was characterized, presenting a broad spectrum of activity against pathogenic and spoilage organisms.The identification of a substance active against important pathogens addresses an important aspect of food safety.