Fluoroquinolones (FQNs) are broad-spectrum antibacterial agents widely used in animal husbandry and aquaculture. The residues and antimicrobial resistance of such antibiotics are a major public health concern. To realize multianalyte detection of FQN residues, a genetically modified bacterium, Escherichia coli pK12 harboring plasmid pRecAlux3, was constructed in this study to develop a bioluminescent-bacteria-based assay for the detection of FQNs in animal-derived foods. This assay was based on the principle of induction of an SOS response by FQNs via inducing the recA-promoter-fused luciferase reporter gene existing on the plasmid pRecAlux3. E. coli pK12 was able to recognize 11 FQNs: difloxacin, enrofloxacin, ciprofloxacin, sarafloxacin, norfloxacin, danofloxacin, ofloxacin, pefloxacin, lomefloxacin, marbofloxacin, and orbifloxacin. This method could be applied to 11 edible tissues, including milk, fish muscle, and the muscles, livers, and kidneys of cattle, chickens, and pigs, with a very simple and rapid sample extraction procedure using only phosphate-buffered saline. The limits of detection of the FQNs were between 12.5 and 100 μg kg(-1), all of which were lower than the maximum residue limits. Most of the recoveries of the FQNs were in the range from 60 to 120 %, and the interassay coefficients of variation were less than 30 %. This method, confirmed by high-performance liquid chromatography, is reliable and can be used as both a screening test and a semiquantitative assay, when the identity of a single type of FQN is known.