FDA Inspectors Furloughed, What It Means For Your Food 10/7/13
CBS 7 News
October 7, 2013
The government shutdown may now be affecting what you eat, as many FDA workers are furloughed. It means food inspections aren’t happening.
You might want to think twice about what you pick up off the shelf.
"You don't know what you’re getting, what's being inspected and what's not,” said one Odessa man.
More than half of The Department of Health and Human Services 78,000-strong workforce is now on furlough.
A memo of what the FDA is not doing includes, “A majority of food safety activities, routine establishment inspections and monitoring of imports.”
"It's definitely something that needs to be taken care of because it's backing up and there are a lot of serious consequences to not having our food inspected,” said West Texan Becky Ramirez.
The USDA will continue meat inspections -- but all other inspections at businesses that prepare food sent across the country have stopped.
"It’s just going to really endanger us if we don't get it taken care of soon,” Ramirez said.
The local health department tells us they will continue inspections of facilities like grocery stores.
We did reach out to the FDA for comment, but we received an auto response saying that many of their officials are on furlough.
A bill did pass the house today calling for emergency funding to continue FDA food and drug inspections. No word on when or if it will come up for a vote in the senate