The government shutdown might affect your dinner
Oklahoma City, Okla —
We are 20 days into the second longest government shutdown in U.S. history, and new information suggests it might have an influence on the food we eat.
The Food and Drug Administration says about forty one percent of their employees are out of a job. Since they inspect food, and check for things that may require a recall such as E-Coli, some federal workers are saying with the bare minimum staff, they're concerned about deadly outbreaks going unnoticed.
According to the F.D.A.'s website, "Agency operations continue to the extent permitted by law, such as activities necessary to address imminent threats to the safety of human life and activities funded by carryover user fee funds."
They go on to say, core functions will be able to handle emergencies such as responding to outbreaks like food-borne illness and the flu, supporting high risk food and medical product recalls, and several others.
Local food inspectors, like Charles Bartusch with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department for example, don't seem to be concerned.
"There’s no reason to be concerned about the food you're eating right now," He said.
Even if the F.D.A. is shorthanded, in Oklahoma County, the Health Department is continuing operations as normal. Inspecting grocery stores and restaurants all over their region.
According to Bartusch, "We focus on food safety, the process that the food's going through at each facility that we have, and we are here to ensure that the food is cooked and served safely."
They say the only food they would not inspect, would be if it were served or sold on federal property.
"We work on a complaint basis, anything that we have, we are still out here protecting the public," Bartusch said.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department still encourages citizens to voice their concerns if they have any, you can reach them on their website.