The aim of this research was to study high hydrostatic pressure inactivation of two strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli O59:H21 [CECT 405] and E. coli O157:H7 [CECT 5947]) inoculated in washed-curd model cheese elaborated with and without starter and the ability of these strains for survival, recovery, and growth. Samples were treated at 300, 400, and 500 MPa for 10 min at 20°C and analyzed after the treatment and after 1, 7, and 15 days of storage at 8°C to study the behavior of Escherichia populations. Cheeses elaborated with starter showed the maximum lethality at 400 and 500 MPa, and no significant differences in the baroresistant behavior of either strains were detected, except for E. coli O157:H7 at 400 MPa in cell counts obtained with thin agar layer method medium, where the decrease value was significantly lower. In cheese elaborated without starter, the highest decrease value was observed at 500 MPa, except for E. coli O59:H21 in cell counts obtained with selective culture medium, where the highest decrease value was also found at 400 MPa. The ability to repair and grow was not observed in model cheese elaborated with starter, as cell counts of treated samples decreased after 15 days of storage at 8°C. By contrast, in cheese elaborated without starter, all pressurized samples showed the trend to repair and grow during the storage period in both strains. These results suggest that the presence of starter and low pH values are the main factors that control the ability of Escherichia strains inoculated in this type of cheese and treated by high hydrostatic pressure to recover and grow. Copyright ©, International Association for Food Protection.