Gov’t shutdown halts some imported food inspections

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SAN DIEGO – The Food and Drug Administration has scaled back on food inspections as a result of the government shutdown.

The FDA reportedly scaled back around 45 percent of its workforce, including inspectors and as a result, about 90 percent of seafood, 20 percent of vegetables and 50 percent of fruit currently isn’t being inspected.

fish pictureEvery day we have shipments come in. Our motto is catch of the day, every day,” said Jerry Adams, owner of Bay Park Fish Co.  “Since this has been brought to my attention, we are definitely going to play a bigger role at looking at our fish,”

Adams said he’s been eyeing his fresh catch a little more closely since he knows inspectors aren’t working at full staff.  Adams gets his fresh fish from Mexico and said there’s been a delay at the border since the shutdown.

“It’s being delayed two or three hours,” he said.

Adams serves shrimp, lobster, halibut, and other fish and seafood and so far he hasn’t had a problem.  The government shutdown has not impacted him, but he’s doing a closer inspection on his own just to be safe.

“If it smells like fish, we don’t serve it,” he said.

Calls to the FDA office were not returned.  The message on their machine explains they’ve had to cut back and warned our media calls likely will not be returned.

The FDA has said it will have staff in place to handle a crisis like a recall, but some worry they won’t catch things that cross the border that should be stopped.

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