Fall is in the air. The golden leaves are falling off the trees, the sweet, Honeycrisp apples are falling into the bushels, and the country is falling apart. Or has fallen apart with the recent federal government shutdown. And among the many unfortunate consequences is this:
The Food and Drug Administration is closed, which includes food safety operations, inspections and regular recalls. And while the USDA is the agency responsible for inspecting meat, poultry and eggs – and continues to do so – the FDA is the source of inspection for 80% of the food supply.
E. coli in that bag of baby spinach looking all healthy on the grocery store shelf? Toxins in dietary supplements? Suspicious tomatoes from across the border? It’s all possible when the FDA is operating, let alone when food and drug production is allowed to freestyle its way through the day.