Date of Conferral


Date of Award

March 2024


Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Tolulope Osoba


Individual cases of foodborne illness can lead to outbreaks that result in severe morbidity and fatality. As the United States’ food scene continues to evolve and diversify, there is a need to consider cultural variations and how they may affect food safety practices. This quantitative study, based on the National Environmental Assessment Reporting System (NEARS) data, grounded in the socio-ecological model, examined the prevalence and factors associated with salmonella outbreaks in ethnic versus non-ethnic food service establishments (FSEs) in the U.S. from 2017 to 2019. The research questions involved understanding the relationship between the primary language spoken, food safety training, and implicated food type and FSE type (ethnic vs. non-ethnic) in NEARS-reported Salmonella outbreaks between 2017-2019. Over 800 reported foodborne illness outbreaks were analyzed, and ethnic FSEs slightly more often reported salmonella outbreaks. Logistic regression analyses showed no statistically significant link between the primary language, implicated food, and FSE type, but there was a significant relationship between food safety training and FSE type. The implications for positive social change include enhancing food safety training, especially in culturally diverse FSEs, which can play a vital role in reducing foodborne illness outbreaks and thereby protecting public health and ensuring the safety of the diverse food landscape in the United States. Tailored interventions that consider cultural variations in food handling practices could lead to more effective prevention strategies, contributing to safer eating environments for all.