As you probably recall, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is part of the U.S. federal government. And as you probably also know, part of the U.S. federal government is shut down. That means the inspectors who work for the FDA have been furloughed, making it much harder for them to inspect the 80% of the nation’s food supply that they oversee.
FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb told the Washington Post the agency “has suspended all routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities,” but is working on a plan that could let inspections of high-risk facilities (think: soft cheese and seafood) resume as early as next week.
Nonprofit advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest described the reductions as “unacceptable,” and it’s hard to disagree when you consider the recent uptick in recalls, with foods including turkey, Duncan Hines cake mix, ground beef, Ritz crackers, Goldfish crackers, McDonald’s salads, Hy-vee meat products, Swiss rolls, romaine lettuce, blood pressure medication, and Kellogg’s Honey Smacks.