Government Shutdown Impacts Quality Control for Food Service Industry

Commercial cleaning staff may want to crack down on sanitation procedures as food processing facilities suspend routine inspections.

January 11, 2019

Facilities running commercial kitchens may want to pay special attention to sanitization procedures and cleaning guidelines as the partial federal government shutdown has reduced inspections of the U.S. food supply, The Washington Post reports.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has furloughed hundreds of its inspectors and suspended all routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities, raising concerns about cleanliness and quality control. The FDA “typically conducts about 160 routine food inspections a week in the United States, with about a third involving high-risk processing facilities,” The Washington Post said. “The agency’s inspectors look for problems such as unsanitary conditions, insect infestations, and salmonella and E. coli contamination—as it did, for instance, in the recent investigations of romaine lettuce.”

The agency is working on a plan to bring inspectors back to high-risk facilities as early as next week to handle sensitive items such as seafood, soft cheese, and vegetables.

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