Produce at grocery store

With the partial government shutdown slowing down Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food inspections, many are wondering if their food is safe.

According to the FDA, about 160 food inspections are conducted each week at manufacturing and food processing plants across the nation.

Since the shutdown, some inspections have been cut back.

However, local food inspectors say they are still providing that last line of defense.

“For us, it’s business as usual,” said Steven Ellis, a food manager and environmental health specialist for the Saginaw County Health Department.

He said the shutdown may be affecting maintenance at the federal level, but it’s not affecting operations in Saginaw for one simple reason.

“So, our funding comes from the state and they’re not having a shutdown, so it doesn’t really affect us locally,” Ellis said.

While the government shutdown may not be affecting us locally, there are still repercussions at the federal level.

Some federal inspections that they’re required to do, they’ll contract with state inspectors to do because they only have so many inspectors for what they have to do too.

However, Ellis said staffing at the Saginaw County Health Department remains at full force, so long as the state continues financing them.

“But again, it’s because of the funding source, the state funds us and as long as they provide that funding we’re going to continue to provide the services that are essential to public health,” Ellis said.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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