Assessment of Hygiene practices and Beef Carcass Quality of Small and Medium Enterprise Slaughterhouses in Kenya

Beef production highly contributes to food security, income and employment generation and improved livelihood for most communities in Kenya. It is a primary source of livelihoods for pastoralists and agro-pastoralists in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs). The beef industry has been ranked as one of Kenya’s fast rising economic sector through provision of meat for export and domestic markets. However, majority of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) slaughterhouses serving the domestic meat market experience high post-harvest losses. They operate under inadequate pre-slaughter good practices and poor hygiene and environmental conditions at slaughterhouses which lead to reduced carcasses quality and spoilage of carcasses after slaughter. The objective of this study is to assess and improve hygiene practices and beef carcasses quality in these SME slaughterhouses to reduce post-harvest losses. Curbing post-harvest losses arising from meat spoilage will improve income from domestic and potential export markets thus increasing the contribution of the livestock sector to rural households’ livelihoods and the country’s Gross Domestic Product.