ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate habits and practices of cheese consumers toward their level of knowledge of food safety. A total of 1000 people were interviewed in several cities of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Five hundred thirty-eight (53.8%) people consume cheese daily, while 318 (31.8%) and 144 (14.4%) consume cheese weekly and monthly, respectively. Five hundred twenty-two (52%) people reported its usage as an ingredient used in the preparation of other dishes, while 320 (32%) of the interviewed people consume cheese directly as a part of the diet. Typical Brazilian cheeses such as “Minas Frescal” and “Prato” cheese are preferred by 528 (52.8%) of the consumers. Of the total consumers, 764 (76.4%) purchase cheese from supermarkets, while 236 (23.6%) from open-air markets. Inspected cheese is purchased by 350 (35%) consumers, while 650 (65%) buy it without knowing if they were submitted to previous fiscalization. Four hundred thirty (43%) consumers do not know any disease transmitted by cheese that has not been inspected. Overall, educational campaigns must be developed by the Sanitary Surveillance and the Health Agencies to improve the knowledge of the consumer about food safety of cheeses.