The Food and Drug Administration is stopping routine safety inspections on food at high-risk of contamination because of the partial government shutdown. Agency Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced Wednesday that the high-risk foods include seafood, fruits, vegetables and others.
About three-thousand Americans die each year because of food-borne diseases. Gottlieb said he is trying to figure out how to bring back some furloughed inspectors, but worried that doing so may mean they cannot collect unemployment to get them through the shutdown.
“There’s no question of whether it’s business as usual at FDA,” Gottlieb tells NBC News. “It’s not business as usual, and we are not doing all the things we would do under normal circumstances. There are important things we are not doing.”
- ONE MORE THING! On a related note...the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce appears to be over. Sixty-two people in 16 states became sick because of the outbreak tied to lettuce grown in northern and central California. The illnesses began in early October and 25 people were hospitalized. The CDC recalled the lettuce in December and said there were only three new cases linked the outbreak since then.
Source: NBC News