A total of 120 beef carcasses were analyzed during processing at a slaughterhouse in southern Brazil. The carcasses were sampled by swab at three different steps of the slaughter line and then they were tested for Salmonella and E. coli. The Salmonella isolates were also examined for antimicrobial susceptibility. Salmonella prevalence distribution was modeled and the probability of contamination was simulated using @Risk program and 10,000 interactions. Results demonstrated that 4 beef carcasses (3.3%) were positive for Salmonella only in the first point. The six isolates of Salmonella were classified: S. Newport (n = 3), S. Saintpaul (n = 2) and S. Anatum (n = 1). No Salmonella strains exhibited resistance to any of the antimicrobials tested. As expected, the most contaminated point with E. coli was the first point (hide), presenting counts from 0.31 to 5.07 log cfu/100 cm(2). Much smaller E. coli counts were observed in the other points. Results indicated low levels of Salmonella and E. coli on the beef carcasses analyzed and also low probability of contamination of the carcasses by Salmonella, suggesting adequate microbiological quality.