The impacts of water and ethanolic extracts of propolis at a dose of 0.4 or 0.8% on vacuum packaged sardine fillets inoculated with Morganella psychrotolerans DSM 17886 during storage at 3 +/- 1 degrees C for 15 days were investigated. All fish groups were inoculated with M. psychrotolerans (10(8) cfu/ml) at a rate of 1%. Sensory, colorimetric, chemical analysis (total volatile basic nitrogen, thiobarbituric acid, peroxide values, and free fatty acids), pH value, and microbiological analysis (viable mesophilic and psychrophilic bacteria, coliform, and lactic acid bacteria count) were carried out. An enhance in L* values was found in the group treated with 0.8% ethanolic extracts of propolis on the seventh day of the storage. Application of propolis extract on fish fillets significantly inhibited bacterial growth during storage and extended shelf life of sardine for 4 and 6 days by the use of water extract and for 8 days by the use of ethanolic extract at doses of 0.4 and 0.8%, respectively. The result of the study revealed that application of propolis extracts, mainly ethanolic propolis extracts on sardine fillets resulted in lower lipid oxidation and bacterial growth, therefore, could be natural food additive for preservation of fish fillets.