You can find everything you need in your local grocery shop, from New Zealand lamb to Mexican Papaya and Columbian espresso. While avocados, plantains, and eddo expand the culinary possibilities, imports of these foods can pose legitimate safety risks.

Americans heavily rely on imported food. The United States imports almost 85 percent of its fish and the number of vegetable and fruit imports has doubled since 1998. Products made in the United States can contain foreign products such as Mexican green onions or Chinese wheat gluten. Even though many countries adhere to the same safety standards as the U.S., some newly industrialized and industrializing countries may not have the infrastructure or resources to meet quality and safety benchmarks.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cannot pick up the pace. According to the FDA, 99 percent of imports into the United States are not being inspected due to a lack of resources.

Experts agree that inspection is not the best way to ensure food safety. Global Food Technologies, Inc., a life sciences company, has created an organic processing process that prevents food from becoming contaminated in processing and packaging. The company is able to destroy the microbes within the food using no harmful chemicals. This allows it to achieve higher safety standards than what is required by law. The iPura process, currently used for the production of seafood in several foreign countries, bears the iPura name. Any product with the iPura label will be guaranteed to have been produced under its comprehensive Source to Retail food safety program.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 325,000 Americans are admitted to hospital each year and 5,000 people die from foodborne illnesses annually. An uncooperative food company will eventually go out of business. This encourages good food safety practices, which leads to relatively safe food supplies. There are still reports of new outbreaks, so it is important to do more to protect the food supply.