Vacuum-packaged poultry cooked sausages were pressure-treated at 500 MPa by combinations of time (5-45 min) and temperature (2-80°C) and later stored at 6-8°C for 12 we. Mesophile and psychrotrophe counts were determined 1 d, 3, 6, 9 and 12 we after treatment and compared with those of cooked sausages pasteurized at 80-85°C for 40 min. Both pressure and heat treatments offer great possibilities for preservation. Sausages pressurized at 65°C for 15 min showed mesophile numbers below 2 log cfu g-1 throughout the chill storage. Pressurization, unlike heat treatment, causes a reversible bacterial stress. Thus, injured cells recovered during storage and, at 6 and 12 we, after a temperature abuse (room temperature for approx. 24 h), counts increased up to 6.5-7.5 log units. Psychrotrophes were more sensitive to both treatments; no growth was detected the day after (a lethality of more than 4 log units).