Butcher shops are end points in the meat chain, and they can have a determinant role in cross-contamination control. This study aims to determine whether Portuguese butcher shops comply with European and Portuguese law regarding the sale of fresh meat and meat products. Butcher shops (n = 73) were assessed for meat handler and facility hygiene and for maintenance of the premises. Handlers (n = 88) were given a questionnaire composed of questions about knowledge and practice, including hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) and good practice in food industry, to assess their knowledge of and compliance with food safety practices. A checklist of 27 items was used to evaluate facility and meat handler hygiene and butcher shop maintenance. Our results revealed some lack of compliance in all the areas evaluated. The mean knowledge and practice score among the operators was 68.0%, and the mean “visual inspection” score for the butcher shops was 64.0%. Severe deficiencies were observed in the mandatory implementation of HACCP principles in this type of small food business. These findings indicate a need to modify training to enhance compliance with European food safety regulations at this step of the meat chain.

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