FDA May Bring Back More Unpaid Workers During Shutdown

While the government shutdown continues, the FDA calls on more furloughed workers to come back while unpaid.

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The longest federal government shutdown in history continues on with no signs of it ending any time soon. With the food industry at risk, the FDA may be forced to call back more furloughed workers to bolster the agency's inspections.

Last week a handful of officials resumed inspections and are working unpaid. However, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb took to Twitter to say that more staff could be called on depending on the needs. Currently, the agency is targeting the riskiest products to ensure that consumers remain protected. 

While high-risk inspections are slowly resuming, routine inspections of non-high-risk facilities are still halted. According to USA Today, the FDA typically conducts about 160 domestic food inspections weekly and 31 percent of those would be considered high risk. 

It's an improvement that inspectors are back on the job, even if there have only been a limited amount of recalls so far this month. Although, critics are wondering if it's due to the FDA not putting them on their website as there are fewer people to report them.