In this study the combined effect of bay (Laurus nobilis L.) essential oil (0.5% v/w) with modified atmosphere (MAP) (20%CO(2)/80%N(2)) and vacuum packaging in ground chicken breast meat stored at 4 degrees C was investigated. Microbial populations of inoculated Listeria monocytogenes AUFE 39237 in chicken meat and Escherichia coli and total viable counts (TVC) were also monitored during 0,1,3,5,7 (th) days of storage. MAP packaging with/without bay oil gave significantly (p<0.01) higher reductions of microbial populations. Vacuum packaging and bay oil combination was also found significantly effective (p<0.01) against E. coli in ground chicken meats. The preservative effect of MAP and vacuum packaging against some food pathogens can be increased with bay essential oil in chicken meats.