As the government shutdown continues, there are some areas of USDA that are affecting the meat and livestock industries. The following are examples of various functions of USDA that are still operating and other areas that are closed until the government shutdown is over. They are:
· Meat and poultry inspection: meat and poultry inspection at slaughter and processing facilities continue to operate. Food safety is considered essential.
· Imports: border inspection of imports will continue.
· Recall: recalls will continue to be managed by USDA.
· Label applications: meat and poultry label applications will not be processed during the shutdown.
· Meat and Poultry Hotline: USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline is closed. This hotline provides information to consumer’s questions on safe food handling.
· Meat grading: meat grading for beef, pork, and lamb continues because it is paid for by industry.
· Mandatory price reporting: mandatory price reporting will not be published during the shutdown.
· Vaccines: USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics will now certify vaccines that are used for animals and poultry after concerns were raised from an initial decision to close this function during the shutdown.
· Women Infant and Children (WIC): no funding for WIC that provides supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.