Abstract Cecina is an intermediate moisture meat produced and consumed to a large extent in Mexico. Four samples of cecina coming from different States of this country, were tested for water activity, colour, texture, fat, protein, moisture and chloride content. Sensory and microbiological analyses were also performed. Different fabrication methods for producing cecina were identified, involving large variations in the formulation of the product. There was a significant difference ( P < 0·05) among samples regarding fat and chloride content, colour and texture. Differences in colour and saltiness were recorded through sensory analysis. Microbiological analysis showed higher counts than those recommended in the Mexican Official Standard for chopped and raw meat, due to poor sanitary conditions during production and marketing.