This study aimed to assess raw milk consumption habits in the urban population of Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and the microbiological safety and quality of the fluid milk available in retail sales outlets in the same region. A simplified questionnaire regarding raw milk consumption was applied to the persons responsible for food acquisition in 411 residences. The regular consumption of raw milk was observed by 18.5% of the interviewers, and lack of knowledge of possible risks related to this food product. Microbiological safety and quality were assessed for raw (n=69), pasteurized (n=80), and ultra-high-temperature (UHT)-treated milk (n=80) by analyzing the counts of mesophilic aerobes, coliforms, and Escherichia coli, and detection of Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella spp.; raw milk samples were also subjected to enumeration of coagulase-positive Staphylococcus. Concerning raw milk, 59.4% of the samples were considered as produced in inadequate hygienic conditions, 5.8% of the samples presented counts of coagulase-positive Staphylococcus lower than 100 colony-forming units (CFU)/mL, and no samples presented with positive results for L. monocytogenes or Salmonella spp. All pasteurized and UHT milk samples presented with low counts of mesophilic aerobes and coliforms, while L. monocytogenes and Salmonella spp. were absent. The data demonstrated that raw milk was consumed by the population studied. Despite the absence of potential hazards, raw milk was of poor hygienic quality, in contrast with the processed fluid milk available in retail sales outlets that was safe and of good hygienic quality, highlighting the suitability of pasteurized and UHT milk for human consumption.