FDA Resumes Food Safety Inspections with Unpaid Workers

FDA Resumes Food Safety Inspections with Unpaid Workers

As the government shutdown continues, FDA is calling its food safety inspection staff back in, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated in a series of posts on Twitter.

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“We restarting high-risk food inspections as early as tomorrow,” Gottlieb said in the Jan. 15 tweet. “We’ll also do compounding inspections this week. And we started sampling high-risk imported produce in the northeast region today. We’ll expand our footprint as the week progresses.”

The inspectors are “largely going unpaid,” Gottlieb wrote. He praised their dedication for coming back to work.

Reactions to Dr. Gottlieb’s tweets largely fell into two camps. Some thanked him for restarting food safety inspections. Most, however, took the opportunity to comment on the shutdown and food safety inspections in general.

Here’s a sampling:

“Perhaps they can survive by stealing bites of the food they inspect, even slip some into their pockets for their kids.” — Catherine Devlin, ‏@catherinedevlin

“Since nobody has gotten sick, maybe it’s worth considering that these ‘inspections’ are more theatrics than an actual useful activity. Gosh, how self-important you folks at FDA seem to be.” — Dead Vape Shop, ‏@fatcatvapor

“Last year, lettuce killed more Americans than undocumented immigrants; so it’s a good thing we’re halting food inspections over a wall that won’t work.” — Ally Maynard @missmayn