The growth responses of salmonellae (mixed inoculum of Salmonella thompson, S. stanley and S. infantis) as affected by NaCl concentration, pH level and storage temperature were studied in laboratory medium. Growth curves were obtained at 5 concentrations of NaCl (0.5-4.5%, w/v), 5 pH levels (5.6-6.8) and 5 storage temperatures (10-30 degrees C). Sigmoid curves (Gompertz form) were fitted to the data and the curve parameters used to produce a polynomial model from which predicted growth curves could be generated for any combination of NaCl, pH and storage temperature within the limits studied. From those growth curves values for growth rate, generation time, lag time and other values such as time to a 1000-fold increase in numbers were derived. Such a model offers a cost-effective approach to understanding the microbial growth response in foods, and forms a data-base against which other controlling factors could be evaluated. Some problems of fitting curves to microbial growth data and of modelling such data are discussed.