FDA: Most food inspections halted during shutdown


The Food and Drug Administration is looking at ways it can expand food safety inspections during the government shutdown.

According to the FDA, it is still doing all regular foreign food inspections, but all routine food safety inspections have been halted due to the shutdown.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says it is now looking to add additional inspectors at high-risk food facilities. The agency estimates that 31 percent of the U.S. inventory of domestic inspections are considered high-risk.

Risk, according to Gottlieb, is based on the type of food processed at a facility, the manufacturing process. and compliance history of the facility.

Gottlieb says high-risk products include modified atmosphere packaged products, acidified and low acid canned foods, seafood, custard filled bakery products, dairy products including soft, semi-soft, soft-ripened cheese and cheese products, unpasteurized juices, sprouts ready-to-eat, fresh fruits and vegetables, processed fruits and vegetables, spices, shell eggs, sandwiches, prepared salads, infant formula, and medical foods.

The U.S. Agriculture Department is still inspecting meat, poultry and egg products, according to its shutdown plan.

The government has been shutdown since December 22, 2018. The longest government shutdown was 21 days during the Clinton Administration.

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