Most FSIS workers deemed nonessential during government shutdown

According to a memo from the Department of Health and Human Services, most FDA Food Safety Inspection Service employees have been deemed nonessential and will not be carrying out inspections as normal for the duration of the federal government shutdown. Some food safety advocates have urged Congress to pass a separate bill funding food safety measures as soon as possible, calling the government's food safety responsibilities some of its most pressing.

"Speaker Boehner should not let food safety and other vital government functions be held hostage just because an extreme faction in his caucus opposes the health care reform law," says Caroline Smith deWaal, head of food safety at the Center for Science for Public Interest.