Shutdown 'Puts US Food Supply at Risk'

Shutdown 'Puts US Food Supply at Risk'

As the partial government shutdown nears a third week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it's been forced to suspend routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities. FDA inspectors look for issues at processing facilities like unsanitary conditions and infestations and also inspect food for salmonella and E. coli contamination. "They all go on as usual, despite the federal shutdown". Gottlieb tweeted that a few dozen may have been missed because of the shutdown.

He said he's working to bring back inspectors as early as next week to restart inspections of the high-risk facilities.

Just previous year, the agency and the CDC helped pinpoint an outbreak of E. coli to romaine lettuce and track breakfast cereal that sickened some people with salmonella. 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 said he's considering recalling 10 percent of the food inspection team because it's "the right thing to do for public safety".

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Foodborne illnesses sicken 48 million people each year and kill 3,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "I said bye-bye, nothing else works!"

But the agency is skipping the 160-or-so routine food inspections it usually performs each week.

From lettuce, to cereal and even ice cream - the FDA commissioner sent some stern tweets about potential candidates in food.

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. FDA actually changed its travel policies last week so inspectors can charge travel expenses to a government account instead of personal credit cards.

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