Heat treatments are widely used by the food industry to obtain safe and stable products, therefore a deeper knowledge of its mode of action on microorganisms would allow a better profit of this technology. Heat shows a multitarget mechanism of action on bacteria, affecting various cellular structures, and causing unbalances in several homeostatic parameters. The aim of this work was to study the effect of glutathione on bacterial survival against heat treatments, in order to acquire knowledge about the mode of action of heat on bacterial cells. Cells were treated in presence or absence of added glutathione and the level of inactivation, soluble protein concentration, enzymatic activities, intracellular ROS level and membrane damages were studied. Results showed that glutathione protected microorganisms against heat inactivation. Moreover, glutathione in the treatment medium preserved intracellular enzyme activity, membrane structure and reduced ROS detection. Besides, glutathione decreased sublethal injury in E. coli. Data presented in this work add new knowledge about bacterial inactivation and survival by heat.