8 food risks going unmonitored during the shutdown
Among the ostensibly "non-essential" services on hold during the government shutdown is the Food and Drug Administration's food inspection program. Within the country, as the Huffington Post points out, that means as many as 80 food production facilities each day may be going uninspected (although an FDA spokesman clarified that an unclear portion of those will be carried out by state agriculture and public health departments).
Food coming from outside the U.S. is also going unmonitored. As Food Safety News first reported, meat inspectors at the USDA are still on duty, but food-safety workers at the FDA are not allowed to use their cellphones, check their emails or, most importantly, inspect imported food. Normally, according to Quartz, the FDA blocks imports from tens of thousands of facilities with records of violations.