USA Today reports that foodborne illness investigations have slowed, and food recalls have plummeted to their lowest levels in years because of the coronavirus. The pandemic stopped communications of federal agencies tasked with stopping contaminated food before it leaves farms and factories to the state health departments that test sick residents for foodborne illnesses like E. coli. The number of FDA inspections dropped from an average of more than 900 a month to just eight in April. Along with that, the FDA citations issued for unsafe conditions dropped from hundreds a month to nearly zero in April. Weekly reports from the FDA show the number of recalls dropping from 173 in February to 105 in March to 70 in April. The USDA numbers dropped from an average of more than ten a month to an unprecedented zero in March and just two in April. Through May 7, the CDC has solved two outbreaks by the same time last year; there had been recalls of products across five different outbreaks, which sickened more than 300. Many experts said they believe the drop-off in detecting foodborne illnesses may be caused by Americans choosing to stay home rather than seek treatment and testing for stomach problems. @ https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2020/05/11/food-inspections-citations-and-recalls-slashed-amid-coronavirus/3065141001/
Due to coronavirus food inspections, citations, and recalls are cut
Inspections, citations, recalls slashed: Coronavirus is testing America’s food safety net
The coronavirus has caused disruptions in America’s multi-layered food safety system, leading to major declines in inspections, citations and recalls.