Monday, 18 March, 2019


FDA Halts Routine Food Inspections Due to Government Shutdown

Food inspections Modal Trigger Getty Images
Conrad Doyle | 11 January, 2019, 22:56

He's now working on a plan to call back 150 inspectors to focus on the high-risk facilities. The agency announced this week that romaine is safe to eat after concerns about E. Coli, though they are still investigating the cause of the outbreak.

The government shutdown has put America's food supply at risk despite the best efforts of the Food and Drug Administration, experts warn. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency can't make the case that "a routine inspection of a Nabisco cracker facility" is necessary during the shutdown, however.

The shutdown has stretched deep into its third week and is on track to become the longest since the 1970s if the government doesn't reopen by Saturday.

With the shutdown now in its 19th day, more than 50 FDA inspections of high-risk facilities - which handle items like soft cheese and seafood - have been nixed so far, the Washington Post reported.

"Our work protects the food that families feed their children and pets and ensures the effectiveness of the medicine they need, all of which contribute to improving the health and welfare of Americans", it said. FDA actually changed its travel policies last week so inspectors can charge travel expenses to a government account instead of personal credit cards. "There are important things we are not doing", Gottlieb told NBC News.

Gottlieb said that the agency, which oversees about 80 percent of the food supply, is continuing to surveil foreign manufacturers and imported food, as well as any domestic producers involved in a current recall or outbreak.

The FDA is responsible for monitoring all food in the U.S. except meat, poultry, and eggs which are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"We are doing what we can to mitigate any risk to consumers through the shutdown", Gottlieb said.

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