A friendly public service announcement: as part of the government shutdown, all routine FDA inspections have been halted. Should you be concerned? Possibly.
At the moment, most food safety inspections have been put on hold until further notice which means all food imports are going straight to the shelves without being quality checked and approved. The overwhelming majority of our seafood is imported. Half of our fruits are imported and one-fifth of our vegetables are imported. None of these products are being inspected at the moment.
Do you know where your food comes from?
This is yet another reason why you should buy local! You can’t call the farmer down in Chile to find out if the pepper you want to buy meets FDA standards for pesticide residue; you can ask the guy at the farmers market if he uses chemicals like Roundup. Who do you trust more? With the FDA on furlough, the only one who can assure you of the quality and safety of your food is the person who grew it. Get to know them! If ever there was a time to start buying locally, now is that time!
The Center for Science in the Public Interest published a list of the 10 riskiest foods regulated by the FDA. Riskiness was determined by food-related illnesses resulting from eating the foods in question. You can check out the whole study here if you are interested. If nothing else, buy these items locally or avoid them altogether if you don’t have a reliable local source (listed from least to greatest risk):
- Ice cream
- Leafy greens
For anyone concerned about meat products, those are monitored by the USDA, not the FDA. Because slaughterhouses cannot legally operate without a USDA inspector present, those inspectors are still at their posts.