Kinema is a fermented soya bean food of Nepal and the hilly regions of Northeastern States of India. Generally, the fermentation is dominated by Bacillus spp. that often cause alkalinity and desirable stickiness in the product. The present study was undertaken in a limited number of commercial (market) kinema samples to test for the presence of foodborne pathogens and their properties. Bacillus cereus was present in numbers exceeding 104 cfu/g product in five of the tested 15 market samples. Enterobacteriaceae and coliform bacteria exceeded 105 cfu/g in 10 of the 15 samples. Escherichia coli exceeding 105 cfu/g was found in two samples. Staphylococcus aureus was not detected in any of the tested samples. Of 31 isolated typical and atypical strains of B. cereus, 18 representative strains were tested qualitatively for the ability to produce diarrhoeal type enter-otoxin (BCET) using an Oxoid BCET-RPLA test kit. Overall, BCET was formed by 12 strains in BHIG (brain heart infusion broth 1% glucose), by seven strains on sterilized cooked rice, and by five strains on sterilized cooked soya beans. Semi-quantitative tests on BCET revealed that levels exceeding 256 ng/g soya beans, produced by single pure culture inoculation with the isolated B. cereus strains, were reduced to =< 8 ng/g by frying kinema in oil, a common procedure when making kinema curry. It was also shown in a mixed pure culture experiment that a kinema strain, B. subtilis DK-W1, is able to suppress growth and BCET formation by a selected toxin producing strain (BC7-5) of B. cereus. It is concluded that the traditional way of making kinema and its culinary use in curries is safe. However, for novel applications of kinema, safety precautions are advisable.