January 10, 2019
The partial federal government shutdown could end any day or continue for some time. Although the USDA is primarily shut down, several USDA functions that are important to the egg industry do continue.
- Inspection activities for egg products will continue, as will related activities like export services.
- Voluntary shell egg grading should be uninterrupted.
- The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will continue to provide export-related services and that veterinary expects certificates from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will still be available where needed.
- AMS Market News reports will continue, as will commodity purchasing.
However, some important activities are at a standstill. These include:
- Market-sensitive statistical reports like those of the National Agricultural Statistics Service and the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates;
- The National Organic Program; and
- Shell Egg Surveillance inspections, among many others.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had suspended routine food facility inspections. However, concerns about food safety may prompt the agency to recall some furloughed employees to carry out these inspections.