(WFSB) - Day 27 of the government shutdown and still, no end in sight.
Now, not just federal workers are feeling the impact, but every American.
Routine food safety inspections on many things we eat have been cut back, everything from fruits and vegetables to meat.
Could this increase our risk to contamination?
These inspections are important because they often find contamination.
We are being told 160 inspectors are off the job because of the government shutdown.
Food inspections are the latest casualty in the government shutdown.
The FDA, the agency in charge of making sure the food we eat is safe, stopped some routine inspections when the shutdown began.
It was also forced to furlough thousands of its workers.
"People in this audience know how serious the issue is of food borne illness,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is urging President Trump to reopen the government, saying there are too many safety risks.
Around 48 million get sick every year from things like salmonella and E. coli and more than 3,000 people die.
So, what can you do to protect yourself?
- 1. Stay away from pre-packaged fresh foods, like salads and sandwiches.
- 2. Stick to things you have control over cooking at home
- 3. Make sure to wash and rinse all produce properly.
- 4. Stick to brand names you know and trust
This week some of the furloughed workers were brought back to do high risk inspections, but without pay.
Poultry and eggs are checked by the Department of Agriculture and those inspections have not stopped.
Also, states handle about half of the FDA’s inspections and those haven't stopped.
FDA inspections of imported foods and other core functions such as monitoring for food poisoning outbreaks have continued as well.
When it comes to food safety, there is a greater concern for those who are pregnant.
They need to be especially careful as well as those who have children or a compromised immune system.