In a Tweet, the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration states that they’re re-starting inspections of high risk food.
Guidroz’s Food Center on East Simcoe Street, is one of the oldest grocery stores in Lafayette.
Co-owner Steve Griffin has a grocery industry background of 29 years and is trained in food safety. Griffin says FDA food inspectors are a rare sight at the retail level.
“I never had a FDA person come into my store to talk to me about inspections that should have happened at the warehouse,” Griffin explains.
The FDA says roughly 1/3 of their food inspections are considered to be high risk food inspections.
High risk foods include eggs, seafood and certain produce. Griffin says stores have the responsibility to maintain the quality found at the inspected level especially when dealing with refrigerated goods such as meats. “You want to make sure from the cooler to the truck the temperature never changes,” Griffin adds.
The FDA commissioner tweets that about 400 workers are being brought back and approximatley 150 will focus on food inspections.
“We still have to make sure we’re doing our part of it; to make sure that if there’s a sell by date we’re selling that product by that date,” Griffin says.
The State Department of Agriculture says there’s been no staff reduction in the inspection of meat processing plants.
The Louisiana Department of Health inspections have not been impacted by the shutdown.
“Our sanitary inspections of facilities that serve foof and prepare food; we are not impacted by that. Those are done with state funds and not federal funds,” Bob Johanessen, Louisiana DHH Communications Director explains.