Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Food Safety Blog: Is Food from Mexico Safe?

Did you know that Customs and Border Protection officers take less than a minute per truck to determine which products enter the United States and find their way into grocery stores and restaurants?

The volume of imported goods and the budget cuts of the people who do the inspections are greatly disproportionate. Inspectors at the border are tasked with enforcing hundreds of regulations from more than 40 government agencies.

Concerns about the nation’s food inspection system is at an all time high especially since more than 800 people have been sickened by tomato salmonella.

In fairness to Mexico, U.S. food producers were the subject of far more expansive recalls last year than foreign producers, including recalls of California spinach that tested positive for E. coli and was blamed for three deaths, and of 22 million pounds of frozen beef hamburger patties with various bacteria. 
Still, Mexico is not China when it comes to U.S. recalls last year – including those of pet food that killed hundreds of animals, toothpaste tainted with diethylene glycol, a poisonous chemical used in antifreeze, and millions of Mattel toys with dangerous levels of lead in their paint.


  1. To respond to the title of the article, yes, food from Mexico is very safe.

    I live in Mexico and do the majority of my fresh food shopping at Mexican supermarkets and neighborhood markets, and in all the years of living here, have never once had a problem.

    Bananas, mangos, papayas and yes tomatoes, are excellent, cheap and nutritious lacking the use of many commercial pesticides found in the US.

    I don’t think when it is all said and done, the recent salmonella outbreak will be traced to Mexico.

    One of the things that this newspaper article misrepresents is the function of Customs and Border Protection. They are not charged with inspecting cargo for food safety. Only for contraband and to be assured the drivers documents are in order.

    Nice blog!

  2. Your readers might be interested in knowing that once they leave Mexico, they can get the products to make their favorite dishes at Mexicoetal.com; and they are VERY SAFE.
    It was a life saver to me when I went on assignment in Greece. I had a care package shipped to my hotel room before my arrival. Fresh tortillas in Greece, woohoo!

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