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How Does Shutting Down the Government Affect the FDA?



By Beth Mole for Ars Technica

After a year plagued by fatal outbreaks of E. coli with the widespread -Romainsalat 2019 begins an angst-triggering launch , With hundreds of food inspectors enthusiastic during the government's ongoing standstill, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has suspended all routine inspections of domestic food processing facilities, according to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who revealed the news in an interview with the Washington Post published on Wednesday.

Dr. Gottlieb said the agency, which manages about 80 percent of the food supply, continues to outrun foreign manufacturers and imported food, as well as all domestic manufacturers involved in a recent recall or outbreak.

However, the agency skips the 1

60-or routine food controls are usually performed every week. In these evaluations, FDA inspectors evaluate the manufacturing processes in food processing plants and check for unhygienic conditions such as infestation and contamination problems. About one third of the 160 weekly inspections include facilities that the agency classifies as "high risk". Gottlieb added. High-risk facilities are those that either handle food that is particularly vulnerable to safety concerns, such as soft cheese and seafood, or facilities that already have a number of food safety issues.

"We do what we can to mitigate any risk of consumer downtime," said Dr. Gottlieb in the newspaper.

He is now working on a plan to recall 150 inspectors to rely on the high-risk power plants While these workers would not be paid until the stoppage was over, Dr. Gottlieb said he had set up a travel agent account to help the inspectors keep large loans off their personal credit cards.

Still, Sarah Sorscher, Deputy Director The Center for Science in the Public Interest described the missed controls as unacceptable. "This endangers our food supply," said Sorscher. "Regular inspections that help stop the food-borne illness before people get sick are crucial . "

Every year, 48 million people fall ill with kra Disease-related diseases (19459022) caused by food-borne illnesses in the US According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The good news is that non-FDA controlled meat, poultry and egg factories are overseen by the US Department of Agriculture, which has conducted inspections during the US Department of Agriculture's government shutdown.

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