Food continuing to be inspected locally as FDA halts some inspections

BISMARCK, N.D. - As part of the shutdown, the Food and Drug Administration isn't conducting domestic food safety inspections. But that doesn't mean your food and drink aren't safe.

While the FDA is continuing inspections of food coming into the country, the food crossing state borders isn't being checked out right now. However on a local level, public health inspectors are still carrying out their day to day business.

Laughing Sun Brewing has only had a kitchen since it opened its new location about three months ago. Owner Todd Sattler says it's been a learning curve going through the process to get licensed.

“We met with Bismarck Burleigh Public Health and those folks there talked with them about what our kitchen was going to look like so they were here a few times with that process,” Todd said. “And then before we opened they of course came in and did an inspection.”

And those inspections are continuing. While the FDA isn't doing inspections at manufacturing plants and food processors, Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health’s environmental health division isn't affected by the shutdown. Each year, they do routine inspections at restaurants, fast food joints, hotels, coffee shops and any place that has perishable food.

“There's things that they obviously don't have to do it at their home but a restaurant has to do this for this reason they're serving the public and we want to protect the public's health,” Anton Sattler, Environmental Health Administrator with Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health said.

Anton says the public should feel safe that what they're consuming is safe.

“I feel safe, I feel confident with the food that's being distributed to the public,” Anton said. “I don't think it's a major concern.”

Anton says last year, they conducted more than 900 inspections at more than 400 establishments.

The FDA is continuing foreign inspections. They're considering bringing back some furloughed workers to start doing domestic inspections at high-risk facilities.