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Almost all of FDA food safety policy office staff furloughed

A total 95 percent of the more than 800 staff members of the FDA center that sets and enforces food safety regulations are not working as a result of the partial government shutdown, according to an influential blog.

At issue is the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, which has “employees who range from secretaries and other support staff to highly specialized professionals -- such as chemists, microbiologists, toxicologists, food technologists, pathologists, molecular biologists, pharmacologists, nutritionists, epidemiologists, mathematicians, sanitarians, physicians and veterinarians,” says the agency website.

Most Center staff members work in the center's headquarters in College Park, MD, but it also operates  research facilities in Laurel, MD; Bedford, IL, and in Dauphin Island, AL.

The FDA Law Blog, which is owned by the Washington, DC. law firm Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C., reported these figures on Twitter on January 22, after what it referred to as “town hall” of some agency divisions.

In addition, the blog said 70 percent of the employees in the regulatory affairs office that oversees inspectors have been furloughed.

On the same day, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted this: “We've received multiple inquiries about which critical food operations continue during the shutdown. Examples of the work that we're still doing include: 1) High-risk domestic food surveillance inspections; 2) foodborne illness surveillance and outbreak investigations.”

FDA is responsible for safety of about 80 percent of the U.S. food supply.


Recent Interesting Reports

US and Canada - Dole Coleslaw products recalled over Salmonella concerns

Report Type: Food Recall
“The FDA announced a recall of a select number of colorful coleslaw products by Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. in the US and Loblaw Companies Limited in Canada, as they might be contaminated with Salmonella. The recall initiated after one sample analyzed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) tested positive... See More

Hungry Howie's Pizza, US Highway 98 North, Lakeland, FL, USA

Report Type: Food Poisoning
Symptoms: Diarrhea Nausea Vomiting
“I ordered 3 subs from this location last night around 9pm. We ate it and everything was fine until this morning when all three people who ate it including myself have been viciously vomiting all day, and having diarrhea.”
Reported By User

Burger King, Southwest Odem Medo Way, Redmond, Oregon, USA

Report Type: Food Poisoning
Symptoms: Diarrhea Vomiting Other Cramps
“12/3/19. About 4:30pm. Whopper with cheese and small fry. To go. I only ate half and symptoms started with stomach cramps followed by diarrhea and vomiting. Had to call in sick to work. Symptoms continued next day. My roommate said he had the same issue the week before from the... See More
Reported By User

Golden Corral Buffet & Grill, East Florence Boulevard, Casa Grande, AZ, USA

Report Type: Food Poisoning
Symptoms: Diarrhea Nausea Vomiting Other
“Around 7 pm On the night of November 26th 2019 My mom & I ate. We both only consumed one similar item which was their steak from the grill! After midnight of the 28th I started to feel nauseous & began continuously throwing up. Three hours later my mom was... See More
Reported By User

Fresh ground beef recalled by New Seasons Market in Portland, OR due to E.Coli

Report Type: Food Recall
“According to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), New Seasons Market issued a voluntary recall of their ground beef products, including their ground beef products such as meatballs, meatloaf, and hamburger patties of all varieties under the concern these might be contaminated with E.Coli. This recall initiated after three persons reported... See More
|2 people found this review helpful

Roger D Gehring Elementary School, 1155 E Richmar Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89123, United States

Report Type: Food Poisoning
Symptoms: Vomiting
“My daughter was at school Friday, and on Saturday she started throwing up. She told me that 3 kids in her class were throwing up on Friday. Also, a friend of hers said another child was sick in her class. Please help ensure the school is cleaned properly. , 5... See More
Reported By User
|1 person found this review helpful

Walmart Neighborhood Market, 1885 N Pine Island Rd, Plantation, FL 33322, United States

Report Type: Food Poisoning
Symptoms: Diarrhea Nausea Vomiting Chills
“I drank Great Value milk on 11/05/19 and it tasted funny but the "Best if Used By" date reads DEC 13 on the carton., Tuesday, 11/05/2019, I drank this milk after dinner and by midnight I was very sick,a vomiting, with terrible nausea, diarrhea, chills, trembling and had to be... See More
Reported By User
|1 person found this review helpful

Panda Express, Marconi Avenue, Sacramento, CA, USA

Report Type: Food Poisoning
Symptoms: Diarrhea Nausea Stomach Pain
“My 3 yr old and 9 yr old ate last night teriyaki chicken with sauce and chow mein, both woke around 3am with stomach ache and nausea by 6am both have diarrhea. I also ate there, but different items and I'm fine. This is the second time in a 6... See More
Reported By User

Five Guys

Report Type: Food Safety
“your quality and customer service is seriously lacking. This was the second attempt at correcting an order, a raw burger, and the third wasn’t much better. Why has your food gotten so bad? Why are your employees so rude and immature?”
Reported By User

Subway, Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines

Report Type: Food Poisoning
Symptoms: Diarrhea Nausea Vomiting
“Last night i ate foot long teriyaki chicken, after i ate the 2nd half about 20min later i started feeling pain in my stomach. Later on that night the pain just got worst. I threw up 4 time and diarrhea 7 times... went to the hospital to get treated. it... See More
Reported By User

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