BREAKING: FDA official warns shutdown has halted most food inspections

JANUARY 9, 2019

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As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service on the internet, DML News offers the following information published by WashingtonPost:

The furloughing of hundreds of Food and Drug Administration inspectors has sharply reduced inspections of the nation’s food supply — one of many repercussions of the partial government shutdown that make Americans potentially less safe.

The agency, which oversees 80 percent of the food supply, has suspended all routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in an interview. He said he’s working on a plan to bring back inspectors as early as next week to resume inspections of high-risk facilities, which handle foods such as soft cheese or seafood, or have a history of problems.

The article goes on to state the following:

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

In a series of Twitter posts, Gottlieb issued the following statements:

UPDATE ON SHUTDOWN: We’re making decisions across our portfolio to focus #FDA resources to key consumer protection functions. One action we’ll be taking is to re-allocate user fee money from certain pre-market drug review work to post market drug safety surveillance. We’ll release more details on these re-allocations in coming days. We’re systematically reviewing our portfolio and making sure that our safety functions remain resourced as best they can, for as long as they can. Our consumer protection role is our most critical mission.

Wednesday, Gottlieb shared additional details:

Food Safety During Shutdown: 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. 31% of our inventory of domestic inspections are considered high risk.

Note: We’re still doing ALL of our regular foreign food inspections. But, on the domestic side, in rough numbers we’d typically do about 160 domestic food inspections each week, and about 1/3 of those would be considered high risk.

We assess risk based on an overall, cross-cutting risk profile. The primary factors contributing to a facility’s risk profile include: the type of food, the manufacturing process, and the compliance history of the facility.

He listed specific products that were considered to be at high risk:

Commodities deemed high risk include, but aren’t limited to: modified atmosphere packaged products; acidified and low acid canned foods; seafood; custard filled bakery products; dairy products including soft, semi-soft, soft ripened cheese and cheese products….

…. (continued) unpasteurized juices; sprouts ready-to-eat; fresh fruits and vegetables and processed fruits and vegetables; spices; shell eggs; sandwiches; prepared salads; infant formula; and medical foods.

#FDA inspectors who inspect food processors for “insect infestations and salmonella and E. coli contamination” are on furlough, and some say that puts Americans at risk.

To get more information about this article, please visit WashingtonPost. To weigh in, leave a comment below.

2 Comments

  1. Steve January 9th, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Once again proving democrats don’t care about Americans They put illegals ahead of the safety of our food

    Reply

  2. Douglas Schmitt January 9th, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Oh I am sure all the food processors are going to go out of their way to contaminate the food now that the inspectors are on not working.

    Reply

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