BOISE, Idaho — Amid the partial government shutdown the Food and Drug Administration has suspended all routine domestic food facility inspections.
The Idaho Division of Public Health has a contract with the FDA to inspect about 70 facilities every year. Bureau of Communicable Disease Prevention Chief, Dr. Kathryn Turner, says those facilities will continue to be inspected because of the contract. However, there are many more that won't be.
The FDA typically conducts roughly 160 routine inspections per week across the country. The agency is reportedly seeking to bring back enough workers to investigate high-risk facilities, which deal with sensitive foods like seafood and cheese. Dr. Turner says until all the food manufactures and producers are being checked again it's especially important we all practice food safety skills.
Dr. Turner says the biggest concern is fresh produce and that's because the inspections haven't been done for about a week due to the holidays and those foods could already be in grocery stores.
"Because fresh produce is so perishable and the turnover is so frequent on that, I think that's the area I would be most vigilant on food safety, but I think right now we all need to be aware of what's going on but it's certainly not a time to panic," Turner said.
She does say that if you are having digestive problems like vomiting or diarrhea, see your doctor.