Biofilm growth of Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas fragi, Pediococcus inopinatus and Listeria monocytogenes was studied on stainless steel surfaces at room and low temperatures to evaluate the results of traditional hygiene measures. The results were compared with those of image analysis of stainless steel surfaces in an epifluorescence microscope. Statistical analyses were carried out to determine the variations between the conventional cultivation swab method, the glycocalyx amount obtained using swabbing, and the values of the areas of the biofilm, slime and cells. As a general rule, old biofilms showed total counts at approximately the same levels as the young biofilm. The results showed that temperature affected the results for all strains except B. subtilis. The strains of Pe. inopinatus and Ps. fragi showed increased attachment at 6°C and L. monocytogenes at 25°C. The biofilm slime was more easily detached than the cells. The results indicated that the traditional swab method is not reliable for the measurement of biofilm formation on surfaces.