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Food Preparation, Practices, and Safety In The Hmong Community

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Author(s): Miguel A. Pérez | Long Julah Moua | Helda Pinzon-Perez

Journal: Hmong Studies Journal
ISSN 1091-1774

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2007;
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Keywords: Hmong Americans | Asian American Studies | Public Health

ABSTRACT
Foodborne illnesses are syndromes that are acquired as a result of eating foods that contain sufficient quantities of poisonous substances or pathogens. Cultural practices place the Hmongat an increased risk for food borne illnesses resulting from improper food handling, preparation, and storage. The risk for illness is further complicated by the fact that the Hmong have verylimited knowledge about food-borne disease and they find themselves in a situation in which they cannot control the space in the house available for food preparation. Data for this qualitative study were collected from 25 Hmong individuals aged 18 and over residing in Fresno, California. Participants in this study did not appear to understand the direct relationship between bacteria and food borne illnesses. Similarly, study participants were more likely to reportreliance on traditional medicine to address foodborne illnesses. Results from this study indicate a need to reach the Hmong community with culturally appropriate messages relating to food preparation and practice. Messages must acknowledge the role of food in cultural celebrations, while seeking to decrease the risk for foodborne illnesses.
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