This study aimed to review the scientific literature on the quality and safety of beef sold in retail, methodologies used for quality evaluation, and proposed interventions for the sector. Bibliographical research was performed in order to identify scientific articles using the electronic databases Ovid, PubMed, Scielo, LILACS, Scopus and Embase. Thirty-three articles were included in the review. Given the different dimensions of the studies, the results were organized into three categories, according to the following approaches: food, environment and handlers; consumers and selection criteria; and intervention strategies for the segment. The applied methodological strategies revealed inadequate conditions and neglect in several processing and operation stages that are fundamental to the maintenance of quality standards. The results confirm a worrying scenario and the presence of risks to consumers. Based on the studies evaluated, it is necessary to emphasize the consumer concern about the importance of the integrated information chain - all stages involved in the production process and meat distribution for retail meat stores. The reported conditions on different studies indicate the need for interventions, with a view to prevention of health risks, continued training of food handlers and transformation of evidenced realities. In this context, it is possible to point out the predominance of diagnostic studies, in contrast with interventional studies focused on the training / qualification of food handlers.