USDA Issues Guidance for Possible Government Shutdown

Below is a message received from USDA which states assurances from two acting USDA leaders that inspection services will be maintained – in the possible occurrence later today of “a federal government shutdown”. Read more on the potential shutdown here

With the uncertainty around a potential lapse in funding at midnight tonight, we wanted to share with you information on the agency’s contingency plans and the steps we’ve taken to ensure that the Nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry, and processed egg products is safe as required under the authority of the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and the Egg Products Inspection Act.

In the event of a lapse of appropriations, FSIS inspectors will continue to conduct all inspections of domestic and imported products to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of all meat, poultry, and egg products before the USDA mark of inspection can be applied. Additionally, the agency will continue its emergency operations to monitor outbreak investigations and conduct voluntary recalls of meat or poultry products that may be misbranded or adulterated. FSIS also will verify that products exported from the U.S. meet the foreign governments’ inspection requirements and are safe for human consumption.

FSIS will continue to conduct surveillance and regulatory enforcement to prevent uninspected, misbranded, or adulterated products from entering commerce. Laboratory sampling functions will continue in support of all inspection and in-commerce activities. Functions that are not essential to support inspections, regulatory enforcement, and laboratory sampling will not be performed during a government shutdown.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions.
 
Sincerely,
Carmen Rottenberg
Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety
 
Paul Kiecker
Acting Administrator