According to spokesman Steven Immergut, the Food and Drug Administration has suspended all routine food safety inspections until funding is restored. The FDA will only inspect facilities believed to “present an immediate threat to public health.”
Eighty percent of the country’s food supply is monitored by the FDA for safety. This includes dairy, juice, raw eggs, farmed seafood and processed foods, such as cereal, peanut butter, candy, hummus, canned soup and frozen ravioli.
While it was clear that FDA employees would not perform food safety inspections during the government shutdown, the agency had suggested that state-contracted employees would conduct some inspections on the FDA’s behalf.
However, the FDA pays state agencies a fee for each inspection its employees conduct. The shutdown has suspended funding for these state-contracted inspections.
The House of Representatives passed a bill on Monday that would restore FDA funds during the shutdown, but the Senate has declined to vote on the piecemeal bill thus far. It is unlikely that routine food safety inspections will resume before a deal is reached to re-open the federal government.
Bon appétit? Maybe not.
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Source: Huffington Post