This study was performed to investigate halotolerant and halophilic histamine-producing bacteria isolated during the ripening of salted anchovies. Of the isolates obtained during the ripening of anchovies, 1.37% showed histamine-forming activity, most of them (70%) belonging to the Staphylococcus genus. S. epidermidis showed a powerful histamine-forming activity, producing more than 1,000 μg/ml in the presence of 3% and 10% NaCl. Another powerful histamine-producing bacterium isolated during the ripening of salted anchovies was S. capitis. It was able to produce about 400 μg/ml of histamine in 10% NaCl under experimental conditions. Most of these species might be expected to be found as a result of contamination of fish during capture and subsequent unhygienic handling. However, no increase in histamine content was found in any batches through the ripening process. Histamine content always was acceptable in accordance with the maximum allowable levels of histamine fixed by the Spanish and European Union regulations.