The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it has suspended all routine domestic food facility inspections amid the partial government shutdown.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told The Washington Post that he is putting together a plan to resume inspections of facilities that are deemed "high-risk."
The agency, which oversees the majority of the country's food supply, typically conducts roughly 160 routine inspections per week, the Post reported.
While food inspections of most of these facilities have halted due to the funding shortfall caused by the shutdown, Gottlieb says he is seeking to bring back enough workers to investigate high-risk facilities, which deal with sensitive foods such as seafood and cheese.
Investigators during these routine checks typically look for unclean conditions, bug infestations and harmful contaminations.
“We are doing what we can to mitigate any risk to consumers through the shutdown,” Gottlieb said.
The FDA is still reportedly inspecting foreign manufacturers and producers involved in recalls or outbreaks.
Forty percent of the agency's operations are covered by Congress, while 60 percent is funded by user fees, according to the Post. Read more at The Hill