In a series of tweets, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced that about 200 food investigators—of 550—for the agency’s Office of Human and Animal Food Operations have been working during the federal government’s partial shutdown, with additional staff possibly “on the way depending on needs.” Gottlieb further noted which food operations have continued during the shutdown: (i) “[h]igh-risk domestic food surveillance inspections”; (ii) “foodborne illness surveillance and outbreak investigations”; (iii) “[e]xecution of high-risk food recalls”; (iv) “[i]nspection of foreign food facilities”; and (v) “[s]ampling of imported food samples (including sampling for antibiotic residue contamination and decomposition analysis.” High-risk foods reportedly include seafood, dairy, fresh produce, spices, eggs, sandwiches and infant formula.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.