If you think the government shutdown does not affect you personally, think about the food inspectors at the Food and Drug Administration who are furloughed for the second week now. The FDA doesn't inspect all foods, but they are responsible for making sure that imported seafood, produce, and packaged foods are safe to consume. The USDA is still inspecting American meat and dairy foods, but only with a skeleton crew. Or maybe that's not the best term to use.
If something were to happen in the food chain, the CDC would not be able to trace it, as they are also subject to the shutdown. What to do? First, don't panic. Under normal circumstances, only about 1% of imported food shipments undergo FDA inspections. However, with no inspections at all, there is some risk. You may want to take a look at a list of some foods that have proven troublesome to inspectors in the past.
(Image credit: Flickr user D Sharon Pruitt)
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