The agency announced this week that romaine is safe to eat after concerns about E. Coli, though they are still investigating the cause of the outbreak.
"We're taking steps to expand the scope of food safety surveillance inspections we're doing during the shutdown to make sure we continue inspecting high risk food facilities", said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. He's now working on a plan to call back 150 inspectors to focus on the high-risk facilities.
Interested in Government Shutdown?
FDA investigations and recalls related to outbreaks continue under the shutdown because of the immediate health concerns. The agency has had to suspend routine testing of most domestic food production facilities, though inspections of imports are continuing. President Donald Trump has remained steadfast in his demands for $5.7 billion from Congress to construct a border wall and resisted Democrats' efforts to forge a deal to reopen the government without it. Trump said after the meeting it was a "total waste of time".
While the FDA's inspections are an important part of American food safety standards, there are tens of thousands of food facilities in the country, and it would be impossible for the agency to inspect all of them every year. "I said bye-bye, nothing else works!"
It's the rotten result of hundreds of FDA inspectors having been furloughed.
"We are doing what we can to mitigate any risk to consumers through the shutdown", Gottlieb said. Gottlieb said riskier foods account for about a third of the food covered by the agency's domestic inspections.
The FDA oversees 80 percent of the food supply in the US.
"We are still performing those inspections and do routine sampling in both processors and retail establishments", said Heather Lansdowne with the Kansas State Department of Agriculture.