USDA: Shutdown hasn’t affected salmonella response

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Laboratories have also remained open to allow for testing of salmonella and other bacteria, the agency added, and staff “will continue to monitor the situation” and update the public as necessary.

The outbreak so far has led to more than 300 illnesses in 20 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Food safety advocates have worried that the government shutdown is hindering federal agencies from tracking and containing the outbreak.

They note that the FSIS is just one of 13 agencies responsible for food safety, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

The CDC, for instance, monitors outbreaks of disease, and has been tracking the spread of salmonella, even though two-thirds of its workers were furloughed by the shutdown. Some of those workers have since been called back to work to contain the outbreak.