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Health, Science and Environment

State continues to inspect food despite reported gaps in FDA inspections

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State officials say local health departments have been continuing to perform food safety inspections during the federal shutdown.

The government shutdown has reportedly impacted some of the services normally performed by US Food and Drug administration - including routine food inspections.

Earlier this week FDA officials said they were re-starting inspections of high-risk foods like seafood and some dairy products.

Jennifer Holton is with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. She said the state has never stopped inspecting food.

“So while federal inspections may not be taking place to some degree they are certainly continuing on in the state of Michigan from our perspective and local health.”

Holton said federal inspectors are only one layer of food regulation.

“Although the food safety program is not at full capacity at the federal level, MDARD food inspectors and food sanitarians at the 45 local health departments are on the front lines every day to maintain the high level of competence and safety of the local food supply.”

Holton said food safety is a “team sport” and while the state hopes federal inspectors are back on the job soon, state inspectors will continue to ensure food safety in Michigan.