The bacterial enzyme histidine decarboxylase (Hdc) catalyses the conversion of histidine into histamine. This amine is essential for the biosynthesis of iron chelators (siderophores) and is an important cause of food poisoning after consumption of fish contaminated with histamine-producing bacteria. In this work we compared different methods for detecting histamine secreted by different bacterial strains. The presence of histamine in the culture supernatant of Vibrio anguillarum, which produces Hdc and secretes the histamine-containing siderophore anguibactin, was detected by thin-layer chromatography. Similar results were obtained using the culture supernatant of the Acinetobacter baumannii 19606 prototype strain that secretes the histamine-containing siderophore acinetobactin. Conversely, histamine was not detected in the culture supernatant of an isogenic V. anguillarum Hdc mutant and the A. baumannii 8399 strain that secretes a catechol siderophore different from anguibactin and acinetobactin. These results were confirmed by capillary gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. However, all these strains tested positive for histamine secretion when cultured on differential plating media containing histidine and a pH indicator, which were specifically designed for the detection of histamine-producing bacteria. The pH increase of the medium surrounding the bacterial colonies was however drastically reduced when the histidine-containing medium was supplemented with peptone, beef extract, and glucose. The histidine-containing culture supernatants of the A. baumannii and V. anguillarum strains showed an increase of about two units of pH, turned purple upon the addition of cresol red, and contained high amounts of ammonia. Escherichia coli strains, which are Hdc negative and do not use histidine as a carbon, nitrogen, and energy source, gave negative results with the differential solid medium and produced only moderate amounts of ammonia when cultured in the presence of excess histidine. This study demonstrates that, although more laborious and requiring some expensive equipment, thin-layer and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry are more accurate than differential media for detecting bacterial histamine secretion. The results obtained with these analytical methods are not affected by byproducts such as ammonia, which are generated during the degradation of histidine and produce false positive results with the differential plating media.