Getting out of her car, the wife of a furloughed government worker walked toward a small building full of free food.
She approached the door with her head down. An attendant asked for her name, she looked up and began to sob.
Caroline Smith DeWaal is food safety director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit watchdog and consumer advocacy group.
This week, a mother called us about her child hospitalized with a Salmonella poisoning from his day care's chicken lunch. The child's condition was tenuous, with a blood infection, and treatment was especially challenging as the bacteria was antibiotic resistant.
The mom turned to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, for information and help because key government's public health agencies and websites are shut down. Does this have an impact on food safety? You betcha!
The Congressional stalemate has claimed its latest casualty: beer.
The craft beer industry is overseen by the Alcohol, Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau. The TTB is charge of approving labels for new beer products sold across state lines and inspection for new breweries. Consequently, new beer and new business are not rolling out during the shutdown.
Like in a scene from an apocalyptic parable, dark carcasses of cows and steers lie motionless in silent clusters across swaths of South Dakota.
An early blizzard caught ranchers off guard this week in the state, killing as many as 20,000 head of cattle, a state official says.
But ranchers say they are the real victims.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
I’ve read that drinking is up around Washington, D.C., since the beginning of the government shutdown on October 1.
I understand that. Just hearing about the shutdown makes me want to reach for some alcohol. But as the shutdown stretches on, I keep thinking about furloughed workers. Some sympathetic chefs around the country are thinking about them too, and are offering free lunch to federal workers. Yay for them and their decision to support workers who have stopped getting paychecks.
What these chefs are divided on is how to feed Congress: One place has launched a Congress Chicken special; another says: “members of congress not eligible for free pizza until you get your s**t together.”
In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and issues we're attempting to do the same.
If it seems food safety issues are on the rise, that's because they are. About 48 million people contract some form of food poisoning each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even in the midst of a government shutdown, crises like the current salmonella outbreak occur. But the question on many people's minds is whether the federal investigators in charge of food safety are still around to protect the public, or if they too have been furloughed.
According to a Department of Health and Human Services contingency plan, the Food and Drug Administration "will be unable to support the majority of its food safety, nutrition, and cosmetics activities” in the event of a government shutdown. However, that plan identifies approximately 700 FDA staff members who would remain to “inspect regulated products and manufacturers, conduct sample analysis on products and review imports offered for entry into the U.S. This number includes active investigators who will be needed to perform inspections.”
A Salmonella outbreak linked to a California poultry producer has sickened approximately 278 people in 18 states, health officials say. As of Tuesday morning, no recall had been issued.