When it comes to buying pork, Hispanic consumers are very concerned about food safety-related issues, which presents a challenge to the pork industry. The mindset is due to experiences that Hispanic consumers had in their home countries where quality and care of livestock was poor.

This led to Hispanic consumers believing that they could contract Trichinosis by eating pork. To guard against the parasite, participants ate pork less frequently, and washed and cooked it well. However, there isn’t a well-known definition of what cooking it “well” (160 F) means. This shows that the U.S. pork industry’s efforts involving the Trichinae-free program are even more important to helping gain consumer acceptance.

On a positive note, many of the National Pork Board’s focus-group participants consider U.S. pork to be safer then in their home countries, but it wasn’t strong enough to combat their fears and concerns. Also, many participants said pork in their home countries was tastier.