FDA inspections have stopped, thanks to government shutdown

Cornelia Mascio
Gennaio 10, 2019

"We're taking steps to expand the scope of food safety surveillance inspections we're doing during the shutdown to make sure we continue inspecting high risk food facilities", said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. But such inspections have not been scheduled as usual due to the shutdown.

The FDA said it is working to bring back about 150 employees to restart inspections of high-risk facilities as early as next week, but inspections of routine facilities are at a standstill.

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.

Late past year, an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickened more than 60 people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 48 million people in the USA get sick each year from food-borne diseases and about 3,000 of those people die.

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. President Donald Trump has remained steadfast in his demands for $5.7 billion from Congress to construct a border wall and resisted Democrats' efforts to forge a deal to reopen the government without it.

Gottlieb noted that of the 160 weekly domestic food inspections routinely conducted by the FDA, about one-third of those are considered high-risk facilities.

"I think most people agree these inspections are important".

From lettuce, to cereal and even ice cream - the FDA commissioner sent some stern tweets about potential candidates in food. That led to far fewer federal inspections on domestic food.

It's the rotten result of hundreds of FDA inspectors having been furloughed.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE