Shutdown 'Puts US Food Supply at Risk'

Marco Green
January 10, 2019

The U.S. government isn't doing routine food inspections because of the partial federal shutdown, but checks of the riskiest foods are expected to resume next week.

Despite the shutdown, the FDA said it's still conducting foreign food inspections, inspections at ports, and is dealing with recalls and outbreaks. "They all go on as usual, despite the federal shutdown". "We're taking whatever steps we can to support our colleagues as they fulfill our commitments to the American people under challenging circumstances".

With around 7,000 of its 17,000 employees furloughed, the Food and Drug Administration is not able to carry out many of its regular activities, such as some domestic food safety inspections, commissioner Scott Gottlieb told NBC News in an interview published Wednesday.

Each year, an estimated 48 million people are sickened by foodborne illnesses in the USA, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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. "I said bye-bye, nothing else works!"

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.

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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