The survival curves of Listeria innocua CDW47 by high hydrostatic pressure were obtained at four pressure levels (138, 207, 276, 345 MPa) and four temperatures (25, 35, 45, 50 degreesC) in peptone solution. Tailing was observed in the survival curves. Elevated temperatures and pressures substantially promoted the inactivation of L. innocua. A linear and two non-linear (Weibull and log-logistic) models were fitted to these data and the goodness of fit of these models were compared. Regression coefficients (R-2), root mean square (RMSE), accuracy factor (A(f)) values and residual plots suggested that linear model, although it produced good fits for some pressure-temperature combinations, was not as appropriate as non-linear models to represent the data. The residual and correlation plots strongly suggested that among the non linear models studied the log logistic model produced better fit to the data than the Weibull model. Such pressure-temperature inactivation models form the engineering basis for design, evaluation and optimization of high hydrostatic pressure processes as a new preservation technique. (C) 2004 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.