Although the House of Representatives passed a bill yesterday that offered to fund the Food and Drug Administration during the government shutdown, the Senate is likely to reject it, saying it will only pass a clean bill that will fund the entire government.
In the meantime, FDA has 698 staff members who continue to inspect regulated products and manufacturers, conduct sample analysis on products and review imports offered for entry into the United States. Of that number, 120 are conducting and overseeing adverse event reporting and lot release protocol reviews, as well as providing support with surveillance, product incidents, compliance, recalls and emergencies. That’s quite a drop from 14,648, the total number of FDA employees as of May 2013.
Unlike other agencies that have shut down their websites, the FDA website is accessible, and recalls are being posted with a one-to-two-day delay.
FDA employees are working and available for help with the following issues:
- For dairy issues, contact Captain Robert Hennes, U.S. Public Health Service, Dairy and Egg Branch, Grade “A” Milk Safety Program Team Leader, email@example.com or (240) 402-2175.
- For animal health issues, contact Captain Johnny Braddy, U.S. Public Health Service, firstname.lastname@example.org or (240) 402-1709
- Pesticide contamination issues can be referred to Captain Young Lee, the Office of Food Safety’s liaison to the pesticide monitoring program at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), email@example.com or (240) 402-1943.
- Microbiology issues can be referred to Lieutenant Commander Sharon Edelson-Mammel, consumer safety officer, U.S. Public Health Service, firstname.lastname@example.org or (240) 402-1930.
- Filth contamination issues can be referred to Amy Miller, Office of Food Safety, Division of Plant and Dairy Food Safety, Dairy and Egg Branch, email@example.com or (240) 402-1658.
In addition to the FDA website, the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization is sending out food-allergen-related recall alerts to the food allergy community by email and social media. Companies with allergen announcements to share may send them, in the same format as they would be submitted to FDA, to Anna Luke, FARE manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members with questions about FDA activities may contact any member of IDFA’s regulatory department: