The FDA Isn't Inspecting Food During The Government Shutdown
E-coli outbreaks crop up every now and then. Some are more widespread then others, but if they're related to
FDA food safety inspectors are furloughed right now and have been all week. Which, as
explains, is problematic because, in addition to finding the source of outbreaks, the FDA also monitors 80 percent of all U.S. food and especially
Fruits, vegetables, seafood and and basically anything else that comes through US customs isn't being safety checked by the FDA right now. And the agency has a pretty extensive system of "red alerts" to keep track of companies and shipment sources with a bad track record, but no one is referring to that information right now. So if you're one of the tens of thousands of vendors on FDA "red alert," for anything from excrement-ladened produce to dietary supplements also containing mad cow disease, this is your chance to sell to the U.S.. Got lead-ladened candy? Come on in!
Take shrimp for example. Americans now eat 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg) a year, way more than any other type of seafood. Some 90% of that is imported, much of it from Thailand , Indonesia, India and Bangladesh.
So consistently has shrimp imported from those four countries arrived already decomposed, covered in filth or teeming with salmonella , that FDA flags all shipments as "red alerts" (companies are exempted only after demonstrating health standard compliance).
The states still have health authorities to address local problems and the FDA will handle "
" if they come up, but the longer the