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Food quality and safety are unaddressed issues in the production, processing, and marketing of broiler chicken in Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to investigate factors affecting the quality and safety of broiler meat production along the value chain. Production, processing and marketing chains were considered and both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and supported by laboratory analysis. Survey and observation data were collected from 81 respondents; 27 respondents from every value chain component. Besides, 120 faecal samples from broiler farms, 60 carcass swabs from slaughtering sites and 24 carcass swabs from retail markets were collected. Furthermore, a total of 72 carcasses; 48 and 24 carcasses from slaughtering sites and retail markets were collected, respectively and physicochemical meat quality was conducted. The majority (77.8%) of the farms were located in residential areas either in the same or separate compound by sharing with the resident people which makes difficult to implement strict biosecurity. Broiler chicken rearing households who did not follow the day-old chicks’ suppliers’ vaccination program and provide antibiotic treatment without veterinary experts’ prescription were 88.2% and 45.5%, respectively. All broiler processors did not off-feed birds for the required duration before slaughtering. Besides, all broiler chicken slaughtering processes were carried out in the same compound near the house wherein birds were grown-out. Furthermore, all slaughtering processes which causes carcass cross-contamination such as bleeding, scalding, defeathering, and evisceration were carried out at the same place. Almost all retail markets did not check the meat from backyard slaughtering sites against temperature and cold chain transportation. Out of 120 faecal samples, 14.2% and 27.5% were positive for Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli, respectively. Besides, out of the 60 carcass swab samples from backyard slaughtering sites 15% and 46.7% were positive for Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli, respectively. Furthermore, out of the 24 carcass swab samples from the retail markets, 70.8% and 79.2% were positive for Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli, respectively. The contamination of both Salmonella spp. and E. coli were significantly (P<0.001) higher at retail markets. Of the breast meat fillets subjected to CIE L*, a* and b* color test, 72.9% were normal. A significantly (P<0.001) higher drip loss and shear force were observed in the pale breast meat group. Besides, a significantly (P<0.001) higher pH24h was observed in the dark breast meat fillets whereas a significantly (P<0.05) low moisture was observed in the pale breast meat group. The biosecurity of broiler chicken rearing farms was poor and broiler processing at backyard slaughtering sites was unhygienic. But, the proximate chemical composition of the breast, thigh and drumstick meat cuts were in the range of the expected nutritional value. The physical qualities of broiler breast meat fillets were comparable with the findings of other studies. To ensure the quality and safety of the broiler meat, multifaceted intervention approaches are required at broiler chicken rearing farms, backyard slaughtering sites, and retail markets.


MSc Thesis


Value chain,, Broiler meat quality,, Broiler meat safety