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FDA Food Facility Inspections Paused Due to Shutdown

January 9, 2019
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, pictured here, said this week that inspections of U.S. food processing facilities have been paused due to the on-going shutdown. Image courtesy of FDA
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, pictured here, said this week that inspections of U.S. food processing facilities have been paused due to the on-going shutdown. Image courtesy of FDA

America’s biggest food safety regulator, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is pausing regular inspections of food processing facilities in the U.S. due to furloughs of agency inspectors during the shutdown of the federal government, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told news organizations this week. 

“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,” the agency official said in an interview with NBC News. 

About 160 food safety inspections are routinely carried out by the agency each week. The agency hopes to have inspectors back in place at high-risk plants or facilities with a track record of issues by next week, Commissioner Gottlieb said in the Washington Post.

“We are taking steps to expand the scope of food safety surveillance inspections we’re doing during the shutdown to make sure we continue inspecting high risk food facilities,” tweeted Commissioner Gottlieb. “31% of our inventory of domestic inspections are considered high risk.”

Nearly all inspections of foreign food products are continuing as normal. 

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