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Routine domestic inspections suspended by FDA

Posted: 29 January 2019 | | No comments yet

In the wake of a partial government shutdown in the US, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it has suspended all routine domestic food facility inspections. 

As reported in The Hill, “FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told The Washington Post that he is putting together a plan to resume inspections of facilities that are deemed ‘high-risk.’

“The agency, which oversees the majority of the country’s food supply, typically conducts roughly 160 routine inspections per week, the Post reported.

“While food inspections of most of these facilities have halted due to the funding shortfall caused by the shutdown, Gottlieb says he is seeking to bring back enough workers to investigate high-risk facilities, which deal with sensitive foods such as seafood and cheese.

“Investigators during these routine checks typically look for unclean conditions, bug infestations and harmful contaminations.

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

“The FDA is still reportedly inspecting foreign manufacturers and producers involved in recalls or outbreaks.

“Forty percent of the agency’s operations are covered by Congress, while 60 percent is funded by user fees, according to the Post. 

“The shutdown hit day 19 [on 9 January], as White House negotiators and Democratic leaders continue to dig their heels in over President Trump‘s demand for more than $5 billion in border wall funding.”

 

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