In this study, silver nanoparticles were prepared and incorporated into carboxymethylcellulose films to evaluate the antimicrobial activity for food packaging applications. The techniques carried out for material characterization were: infrared spectroscopy and thermal analysis for the silver nanoparticles and films, as well as particle size distribution for the nanoparticles and water vapor permeability for the films. The antimicrobial activity of silver nanoparticles prepared by casting method was investigated. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of the silver nanoparticles to test Gram-positive (Enterococcus faecalis) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) microorganisms was carried out by the serial dilution technique, tested in triplicate to confirm the concentration used. The results were developed using the Mcfarland scale which indicates that the presence or absence of turbidity tube demonstrates the inhibition of bacteria in relation to the substance inoculated. It was found that the silver nanoparticles inhibited the growth of the tested microorganisms. The carboxymethylcellulose film embedded with silver nanoparticles showed the best antimicrobial effect against Gram-positive (E. faecalis) and Gram-negative (E. coli) bacteria (0.1 microg cm(-3)).