A Melting Pot of Cultures—and Microbial Risks

The U.S. and Canada are melting pots of cultures, and one of the most evident expressions of this diversity can be found in the variety of ethnic foods available in markets. While the influx of these foods has brought new and exciting flavors to North American palates, it has also brought the risk of new microbial hazards. These hazards arise from the potential contamination of foods with pathogenic microorganisms that can cause foodborne illnesses. The presence of these hazards can be attributed to a variety of factors, including differences in food production practices, transportation conditions, and storage methods. In this context, it is essential to understand the potential microbial hazards associated with the influx of ethnic foods, as well as the measures that can be taken to minimize these risks and ensure the safety of consumers.