The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of turmeric (Curcuma longa), also known in Brazil as saffron, on the reduction of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli counts in chicken meat. Forty breast meat samples were divided in two groups (A and B). In group A, 10³-10(4)E. coli (ATCC 25922) cells were inoculated and group B samples were inoculated with 10(4)-10(5)S. aureus (ATCC 9801) cells, after which each group was divided in three samples. The first sample was analyzed immediately after inoculation. The second sample (control group) was stored at 4 ºC for 48 hours and turmeric at 1% (w/w) was added to the third sample, which was homogenized and then stored under the same conditions as the second sample. E. coli and S. aureus were enumerated in all samples. Mean bacterial counts determined for the control samples and for the samples with turmeric addition after 48h of storage were 1.83 x 10(4) CFU g-1 and 1.80 x 10(4) CFU g-1 for S. aureus, and 9.36 x 10³ CFU g-1 and 7.25 x 10³ CFU g-1 for E. coli, respectively. The results showed that there was no significant reduction in bacterial counts with the addition of 1% turmeric to chicken breast meat.