The shut down of the government is such a disgrace and is affecting all of us. The latest example: investigating an outbreak of salmonella in chicken that has sickened people in 18 states.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recalled some of its furloughed staff to deal with the salmonella outbreak, which has sickened more than 270 people and was announced by the Agriculture Department late Monday. Before Tuesday, the CDC had only a handful of scientists working on outbreak detection, severely hampering its ability to track potentially deadly illnesses.
The Food and Drug Administration also has stopped routine inspections of food facilities in the United States and abroad, and border controls could be delayed. Food imports are still being inspected at borders, but any samples that need to be analyzed could be stalled because there are fewer scientists to analyze them.
USDA website is shut down, preventing concerned members of the public from finding out more information on the salmonella outbreak and other food borne illnesses. The agencies aren’t tweeting or disseminating health safety information except for a few releases to the media.
- The Supplemental Nutrition Program, or food stamps program, will continue operating. Congress‘s Recovery Act provides funding through the end of October. After that date, benefits may vary from state to state.
You’ll eat food that was produced in neglected factories. The Food and Drug Administration is shuttering the majority of its food-safety oversight operation, which means facilities that mass-produce foods — from prune juice to pickles – will not receive their routine inspections. The FDA will still handle high-risk recalls and monitor programs that are funded by the industry, while the Department of Agriculture will inspect things like meat and poultry. But that still leaves room for serious lapses on other kinds of food, especially if the shutdown lasts more than two days. That could prompt the USDA to furlough its food safety employees.
Let us pray.
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