The FDA is suspending most foreign inspections of food, as well as medicine and medical devices, as a precaution against spread of the coronavirus.
The FDA routinely inspects food about to be imported to the United States from certain countries. The agency announced this week that it will suspend most foreign inspections, and only those deemed “mission-critical” will be carried out on a case-by-case basis. The agency had halted inspections in China last month.
“We will be vigilant and monitor the situation very closely and will try to mitigate potential impacts from this outbreak in lockstep with the whole of the federal government,” FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement.
The FDA noted that it can rely on other methods, including carrying out inspections at a country’s borders and relying on information from local governments.