The major objective of this study was to evaluate and model the combined effect of the water activity (a(w)) and pH of the heating menstrum on the heat resistance of spores of a psychrotolerant Bacillus cereus strain isolated from béchamel sauce. Two models, a quadratic polynomial equation and a reparameterized function, were assessed for their ability to describe the combined influence of a(w) and pH on the D(85°C)-values of the B. cereus isolate in tryptone soy broth. The performance of the models was validated by challenging the models with data independently collected in broth and béchamel sauce. Both models were found to adequately describe the validation data obtained in broth. However, it was determined that in béchamel sauce the predictions of the polynomial function not only showed bias (bias factor = 1.156) but were also fail-dangerous, as they deviated from the validation data by 17.2%. The reparameterized function was determined to be a good predictor of the D(85°C)-values in béchamel sauce as it showed no bias (bias factor = 1.033) and its predictions differed by only 7.9% from the validation data. The reparameterized function can be used to provide estimates of the minimum processing conditions required to achieve desired levels of spore inactivation within the a(w) and pH ranges studied and to determine the potential changes in heat resistance of B. cereus spores when a(w) and pH are changed, for example, during product reformulation. As validation of heat resistance models is rarely performed, let alone in actual food products, the models evaluated and validated in this study (in particular the reparameterized function) are of immediate relevance to the food industry.