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