The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it has suspended all routine domestic food facility inspections, which look for unclean conditions, bug infestations and harmful contaminations of the country’s food supply, as the partial government shutdown entered day 19.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that he is currently putting together a plan to resume inspections of facilities that are deemed “high-risk,” reports The Washington Post.
Gottlieb says he is seeking to bring back enough workers to inspect high-risk facilities, which deal with sensitive foods such as seafood and cheese.
The FDA typically conducts around 160 routine inspections per week, the newspaper reported.
“We are doing what we can to mitigate any risk to consumers through the shutdown,” Gottlieb said.
The Hill reports:
The FDA is still reportedly inspecting foreign manufacturers and producers involved in recalls or outbreaks. Forty percent of the agency’s operations are covered by Congress, while 60 percent is funded by user fees, according to the Post.