A survey at five pigs' slaughterhouses was performed to investigate the effect of a quality assurance system, pre-slaughter conditions and slaughterhouse facilities on pork quality. Totally, 2246 pigs were included over four transports per slaughterhouse, i.e. two transports were produced according to a quality assurance system and the other two were conventional pigs. Meat quality was measured on 446 pigs. The pH in the longissimus dorsi muscle and the electrical conductivity in the semimembranosus muscle were measured 30 min post-mortem. Twenty-four hours later pH and electrical conductivity in both the longissimus dorsi and the semimembranosus muscle were measured. Pigs managed according to a chain quality protocol showed an overall higher potential for improved meat quality. Differences in meat quality between the different slaughterhouses were also found, however they were dependent on muscle type and time of measuring. Influencing factors on pork quality seemed to be stocking density during transport, the handling during offloading the pigs from the truck, stocking density, and air temperature during lairage. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.