Some food inspections were postponed during the shutdown. It’s not an emergency — yet. ( www.vox.com )

So far, less than half a percent of food inspections have been interrupted.

Food poisoning is common and sometimes deadly. That’s why the federal government regularly inspects the food supply — to keep E. coli out of your salad and salmonella away from your peanut butter.

But 19 days into the second-longest-running government shutdown in US history, panicky news reports went viral suggesting that all food inspections had stopped.

The implication was that it’s not safe to, well, eat.

In response, the head of the Food and Drug Administration, Scott Gottlieb, got on Twitter to correct the record. His message was clear: Food inspections have only been interrupted as of this week — and not all have been halted.

We should have the mechanisms in place next week. I’m getting the total number of inspections, out of the 8,400 we do each year, that were postponed this week. It may be a few dozen but not much more. So reporting we “stopped” really means reporting we didn’t do 20+/8,400 on time

— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) January 10, 2019

That’s not great, but it’s not exactly a full-fledged public health crisis, as some news outlets have suggested — at least not yet. Here’s why.

So far, less than half a percent of total annual inspections have been interrupted

The FDA oversees 80 percent of the US food supply. That amounts to essentially everything at the grocery store that isn’t raw meat and poultry. Vegetables, fruits, fish, canned goods, baby formula, prepackaged foods — they’re all under the agency’s jurisdiction. (The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service oversees the rest.)

The FDA splits