Government shutdown could make you sick to your stomach
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - Mom always said eat those fruits and veggies. Good advice, just not during a government shutdown.
"We're worried," said Amy Adams with the Fresh Produce Association. "If something doesn't happen soon as this continues, things are going to change. We're going to see fewer inspectors."
Fact is there are already fewer inspectors, and it's only day 3. Two-thirds of inspectors here in Nogales not working, not inspecting your food as often. They just can't keep up.
"The produce is a living organism," said Adams. "So everyday counts."
Fruits and vegetable warehouses in Nogales rely on the FDA to insure their products are safe. In fact earlier this year, FDA inspectors were on scene at Tricar, after a nationwide salmonella outbreak in cucumbers.
But the concerns this time are a bit different.
"Based on outbreak data, we're especially concerned about produce, leafy times, canteloupe," said Caroline Smith Dewaal, with the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
And most of that produce comes through Nogales and across North America. It's one of the busiest ports of entry. So far, time spent at the border crossings hasn't changed. But if the shutdown drags on.
"Delays cost money," said Adams.
Washington's inaction could mean higher food prices for you. And even worse problematic produce could make it to your grocery store.
"Our hope is Congress puts this thing back together, so that things can run normally," said Adams.
The Fresh Produce Association of Americas spokesman is in Washington tonight lobbying Congress to end the shutdown. Experts agree the longer this goes, the greater the risk for disease or outbreak. The best advice in the meantime, be sure to wash and dry your produce to reduce bacteria that may be present.