Persistent challenges in safety and hygiene control practices in emerging dairy chains: The case of Tanzania

James Ledo, Kasper A. Hettinga, Jos Bijman, Pieternel A. Luning*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In emerging economies, the demand for milk and milk products is growing speedily, leading to rapidly evolving dairy chains. However, milk quality and safety are not yet up to standard, despite substantial efforts to support actors in these emerging dairy chains. The aim of this study was therefore to get insight in possible causes of persisting poor milk safety and hygiene practices. The Tanzanian dairy chain was taken as a case for an emerging dairy chain, because of its evolving nature and potential for growth. Depicting the organization of the dairy system involved a value chain analysis using focus group discussions and interviews with chain actors (in total 71). Face-to-face in-depth interviews and systematic on-site observations at actor locations in two different regions provided insights into current safety and hygiene control practices from the farm to the processor. Furthermore, 22 farmers were interviewed to examine how they perceived existing support programs in assisting their safety and hygiene practices. Data showed that the organization of control activities and enforcement of requirements on dairy quality is not uniform across the dairy chain. Overall, safety and hygiene practices were basic or rudimentary. Preventive practices related to animal health care, hygiene, and feed storage control, were mostly lacking. Milk cooling is not a common practice along the dairy chain, monitoring of milk safety and quality parameters is limited, particularly for pathogenic bacteria, indicating a risk for milk safety. Farmers perceived the support of the non-commercial program as more supportive to their on-farm safety and hygiene control practices than the commercial program. To avert public health risks of the increasing milk consumption, multiple safety and hygiene control practices require significant improvement. Support programs could more explicitly enhance awareness and competences on these safety and hygiene practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-173
Number of pages10
JournalFood Control
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Dairy system
  • Formal dairy chain
  • Informal dairy chain
  • Milk safety
  • On-farm practices
  • Support programs

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