Assessment of Hygiene, Quality and Post-Harvest Losses in Small and Medium Enterprises Handling Meat in Kenya
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The high perishability and post-harvest losses (up to 50%) of fresh meat handled by small and medium enterprises butcheries in Kenya, results in reduced profitability and contributes to the operators’ food insecurity. The high perishability and post -harvest losses are due to unhygienic handling, inadequate supply of potable water, lack of cold storage and transportation facilities and lack and/or high cost of grid electricity. The meat is transported, stored and handled at high ambient temperatures, low relative humidity and under unhygienic conditions. This accelerates meat deterioration and water loss. SMEs butchery operators also lack adequate knowledge, technical skills and awareness on standard operating procedures and Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) in meat handling. The objective of this study is to evaluate the current hygienic meat handling practices of SMEs butcheries, identify main points of post-harvest losses and recommend interventions strategies for improved hygienic meat handling and reduced post-harvest losses in SME butcheries in Kenya.