Congressman Worries About Food Contamination During Shutdown

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The partial government shutdown has put the Food and Drug Administration out of work for nearly three weeks, raising concerns about what consumers are feeding their families.

Congressman Josh Gottheimer is one of the many concerned about food safety saying: “This is a risk we can’t afford to take.”

The FDA is one of the many government agencies that has been shut down since funding ran out on Dec. 22. This means that it's possible that food is not being properly inspected for contaminations.

"Without a cop on the beat, the safety of our families at our dinner table is at risk,” Gottheimer said.

He’s especially worried that without the FDA’s routine inspections, some companies may be overlooking cleanliness.

Dr. Suraj Saggar, chief of infectious disease at Holy Name Medical Center, notes that even with inspections, there have been serious problems.

"Listeria with ice cream, salmonella in cereal, and of course, E. coli in romaine lettuce,” he notes.

Dr. Saggar says 1 in every 6 Americans is sickened by a food-borne illness every year and roughly 3,000 die each year.