The paper discusses the concept of quality and the factors that compose it. It takes into account the role of the consumer in the formation of the product quality. It presents the basic quality assurance systems used in food production. There have been presented purchasing decision-making process and its implications. There have been described the situation on the market of meat and cured meat in Poland and the legal requirements for the production of food of animal origin. It presents the results of their survey, comparing them with the available data.