As of this writing, it's been 19 days since the government shutdown. And the shutdown is now starting to affect our everyday lives. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food inspections aren't as stringent as usual. That's because Congress is furloughing employees deemed "non-essential." Somehow, FDA inspectors got on that list.
The Washington Post reported the "FDA has suspended all its routine inspection in domestic food-processing facilities."
Given the amount of food recalls lately, from almond milk, to meat, and ice cream, we rely pretty heavily on the government entity. Now, the FDA IS still inspecting foreign imports and addressing outbreaks and "routine USDA inspections have continued" (USDA is in charge of meat, poultry and dairy inspections.)" But the FDA is in charge of 80% of the nation's food supply. Which leaves a lot of holes.
FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb hopes that inspecters are back to work early next week. Although, if the government is still shut down, they'd be returning without pay. Gottlieb insists "We want to protect the public and we will."