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FDA food inspections stopped after government shutdown

FDA food inspections stopped after government shutdown

The partial government shutdown has left America's food industry in a pickle - as the Food and Drug Administration has been forced to suspend routine inspections of food-processing facilities. In those evaluations, FDA inspectors assess manufacturing practices at food-processing facilities, as well as check for unsanitary conditions, such as infestations, and contamination issues.

A third of FDA's routine inspections are of high-risk facilities that work with products like fresh fruits and veggies, seafood, dairy products, prepared foods, infant formula, and medical foods.

Without a deal to reopen the government, the regulatory agency will have to force furloughed workers to come back without pay. A meeting Wednesday between congressional leaders and President Donald Trump ended abruptly, with the president storming out when Democratic lawmakers refused to fund a wall at the U.S. -Mexico border. In a statement, the agency said it will continue operations as permitted by law.




The FDA plans to either find new funding to bring inspectors back, or order them to work until the shutdown is over, then offer backpay. Almost 7,000 of the agency's 17,000 employees are furloughed. "There are important things we are not doing", Gottlieb told NBC News. "There are important things we are not doing".

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. "That puts our food supply at risk", Sorscher said.

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. They expect to restart some of those inspections next week.


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