Wednesday, January 09, 2019
The ongoing federal government shutdown has stopped most food safety inspections, but the Food and Drug Administration is planning to resume at least some of them. To do it, the agency will have to force furloughed workers to come back without pay. FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said he is trying to pinpoint the most essential inspections, while making sure that employees do not suffer too much.
"There's no question of whether it's business as usual at FDA," Gottlieb told NBC News.
"It's not business as usual, and we are not doing all the things we would do under normal circumstances. There are important things we are not doing."
This means FDA inspectors are not looking for salmonella in breakfast cereal, E. coli in romaine lettuce, or listeria in ice cream. Companies can still make their own checks, of course, and the FDA is still announcing those recalls.
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