December 10, 2016

Food Safety Effects of the Government Shutdown

The Office of Management and Budget has released a report detailing the costs of the October 2013 government shutdown. Overall, the shutdown reduced the fourth quarter GDP by 0.2 to 0.6 percentage points and may have resulted in 120,000 fewer private-sector jobs. In terms of food safety, the FDA had to delay nearly 500 food and feed domestic inspections and about 355 food safety inspections under state contracts because 45% of their workforce was furloughed. Those inspections help ensure that unsanitary conditions that may result in foodborne illness are addressed. The FDA also cut back on testing and lab analysis of imported foods. Imports have caused several large foodborne illness outbreaks in the past several years. The shutdown also forced cutbacks in CDC monitoring of foodborne … [Read more...]

Food Safety Effects of the Government Shutdown

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has issued a statement about the continuing government shutdown and the possible effects on food safety. An outbreak could already be happening in this country, but it could continue without a response from the USDA, FDA, and CDC. Caroline Smith DeWall, CSPI Food Safety Director, said in a statement, "the task of tracking the food that is causing an outbreak takes a trained group of public health investigators, from epidemiologists at the CDC to experts in food production and traceability at USDA and FDA. Together these experts gather evidence from state investigations and victim interviews, and analyze the clues that lead to the identification of the contaminated food causing the outbreak. But right now, these agencies are operating … [Read more...]

CDC, FDA and the Government Shutdown, What You Need To Know

The government shutdown will halt outbreak detection and infectious disease surveillance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and food facility inspection and monitoring of imports at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both agencies are part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which has furloughed 52 percent of staff because of the shutdown. By its own definition, the FDA's purpose is to protect public health by "assuring the safety, effectiveness, quality, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products, medical devices, most of our nation’s food supply, all cosmetics, dietary supplements, and products that give off radiation."  It is also responsible for regulating tobacco products. The FDA regulates … [Read more...]

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