In order to establish cut-off values for Lactococcus lactis to six antibiotics to distinguish susceptible and intrinsically resistant strains from those having acquired resistances, the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of tetracycline, erythromycin, clindamycin, streptomycin, chloramphenicol and vancomycin was determined in 93 different Lc. lactis strains using the Etest. These bacterial strains were originally isolated from dairy and animal sources in widely separated geographical locations. Cut-offs were defined on the basis of the distribution of the MICs frequency of the studied antibiotics, which in the absence of acquired determinants should approach to a normal statistical distribution. In general, the new cut-off values proposed in this study are higher than previously defined (European Commission, 2005. The EFSA Journal 223, 1–12). Based on these new values, all the strains tested were susceptible to erythromycin, chloramphenicol and vancomycin, and 79 susceptible to all six antibiotics. However, 11 strains (around 12%) were considered resistant to tetracycline (six of which had been identified after screening of a large collection of lactococci strains for tetracycline resistance) and five (5·4%) resistant to streptomycin. Of these, two fish isolates proved to be resistance to both tetracycline and streptomycin. From the tetracycline resistant strains, tet(M) and mosaic tet(L/S) genes were amplified by PCR, demonstrating they harboured acquired antibiotic resistance determinants.