Biofilm formation on stainless steel by Salmonella typhimurium, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Pseudomonas fragi and Pseudomonas fluorescens during growth in model food systems was studied. Test growth media included tryptic soy broth (TSB), diluted TSB (dTSB), 1% reconstituted skim milk (RSM) and diluted meat juice (DMJ). Adherent cells were stained with acridine orange and enumerated using epifluorescent microscopy and computerized image analysis. Cells were observed on the stainless steel surface after 1 h in all of the media. However, the increases in the number of adherent cells over time was seen only with S. typhimurium in DMJ, E. coli O157:H7 in TSB, dTSB and DMJ, P. fragi in RSM and P. fluorescens in RSM. The medium which produced the highest observed level of adherent cells was different for each microorganism.