FDA Stops Some Food Inspections Because of Government Shutdown

The Food and Drug Administration regulates 75 percent of the country’s food supply, but the ongoing partial government shutdown has stopped regular food inspections.

The FDA inspects facilities for contaminants, sanitary procedures and cleanliness before food items hit the shelves of the grocery store.

They pay extra attention to “high risk” items like produce, cheese seafood and baby formula. 31 percent of the food they check belongs to this category.

The 150 person group makes 160 inspections a week.

Shoppers at Tom’s East Bay in Traverse City had mixed feelings about the halt to inspections.

“That doesn’t make me happy, I have a grandson that’s 4 months old he’s going to start eating baby food and I would hate for him to get sick because they didn’t inspect baby food,” said Patricia Helsel.

Other shoppers didn’t have as much faith in the regular procedures of the FDA.

“I don’t feel that produce is inspected enough anyways, I’m really concerned about chemicals in our food,” said Lisa Baldyga.

The Department of Agriculture inspects meat, poultry and eggs so those inspections will continue through the shutdown.

The FDA hopes to have inspectors checking high risk food again by early next week.