Shutdown 'Puts US Food Supply at Risk'

  • Shutdown 'Puts US Food Supply at Risk'

Shutdown 'Puts US Food Supply at Risk'

About a third of those 160 weekly inspections involve facilities that the agency considers "high risk", Gottlieb added.

The government shutdown has put America's food supply at risk despite the best efforts of the Food and Drug Administration, experts warn. "We're taking whatever steps we can to support our colleagues as they fulfill our commitments to the American people under challenging circumstances".

According to The Washington Post, Gottlieb said he was working on plans to bring back the 150 now furloughed inspectors as early as next week to specifically focus on high-risk facilities after the shuttering of the government forced him to cancel 50 high-risk inspections. Foreign food inspections have proceeded as normal, and the Department of Agriculture has continued to inspect domestic meat and poultry, the Times reported.

After a year plagued by deadly E. coli outbreaks linked to widely distributed romaine lettuce, 2019 is off to an anxiety-inducing start.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 48 million people in the USA get sick each year from food-borne diseases and about 3,000 of those people die.

"A total waste of time", the president declared of the meeting afterward.

The FDA oversees 80 percent of the food supply in the US. That led to far fewer federal inspections on domestic food. Under normal circumstances, the FDA inspects around 160 USA food production facilities a week, many of them deemed high-risk.

It's the rotten result of hundreds of FDA inspectors having been furloughed.