Government Shutdown Stresses Food Inspections

Margaret Hamburg is shown. | AP Photo

Remarkably, the shutdown plan is more generous than the outline floated in 2011, the last time the federal government was facing the brink. Under that plan, the administration deemed only 14 percent of FDAs workforce essential. Still, food safety advocates are very concerned about the direct hit to food safety. ( Also on POLITICO: Senate CR to strip Monsanto rider ) Ceasing routine food inspections is not ideal, experts say, especially because FDA is already so short-staffed compared with the size of its jurisdiction. During the 2012 fiscal year, the agency inspected about 10,000 of the 167,000 domestic food manufacturers. Overseas, it was able to get into 1,300 of the 254,000 food facilities registered with the agency. According to the plan released by the administration, FDA will be unable to support the majority of its food safety, nutrition, and cosmetics activities. That includes routine food manufacturer inspections, compliance and enforcement of food safety regulations and food import monitoring. When it comes to the CDC, which is operating with 32 percent of its 12,825 employees during the shutdown, health experts worry the disease surveillance system for detecting foodborne illness could be hampered by the loss of personnel. ( Also on POLITICO: Harvard, NRDC: Expire dates key to stopping food waste ) While the public learns of maybe only a dozen high-profile national foodborne illness outbreaks each year, at any given point there are dozens of clusters of illnesses tied to food and investigators try to pinpoint the cause. CDCs PulseNet a crucial part of the agency that tracks and monitors foodborne illnesses across the country has been hit hard by the shutdown. Each year, PulseNet monitors 250 clusters of foodborne disease and only 10 to 15 get high-profile media attention. CDC will continue minimal support to protect the health and well-being of U.S. citizens here and abroad, including continuing to operate PulseNet, CDCs foodborne disease tracking system, said Barbara Reynolds, a spokesperson for the agency.

Stretch your food budget

Chipotle lays before the public viewing audience a death-defying view of what the food of today really looks like, on their search to bring back real food to their customers. Cultivate a better world The world of processed food is a frightening one, with food production controlled by industrial giants who are dominating the food system, the way its always been done. The infomercial seem through the eyes of one lone scarecrow, as he sets out to give an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the industrial food factory. Its scary to think this is actually what food production has come to What the animals are put through and what people are willing to ingest, Alfred Hitchcock himself could not have come of with, but a seemingly closer of view of what this commercial portrays can be viewed in the B movie classic from the 80s ,Motel Hell. Unsuspecting travelers are buried up to their necks in the soil in his garden, after they are kidnapped by Farmer Vincent. It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincents fritters Farmer Vincents motto is a parody of the meat industry. His have their vocal chords cut so they cannot scream out. His victims, captured as animals, are fed special food until they are ready. The movie is full of one criminal act after another and who knows and who doesn’t and who eats but pretends they do not know. The victims escape and cant walk-from being buried in the ground, or talk-they hiss and make weird noises, much like the industrial farm animals would do if they broke loose from their industrialized settings they are forced to live in. If people weren’t so freaked out on the B drive-in movie spaghetti scare, and more information about industrialization and the tainted foods that litter the grocery store shelves, they might have realized the statement the movie was trying to make even then. The Scarecrow produced by Chipotle and created by Academy-Award-winning Moonbot Studios The Scarecrow is a revised version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Chipotles mission to change how people see fast food. Making a story that matters to people, the idea is this elaborate production of overproduced food. What do scarecrows do?

“The Scarecrow” Chipotle industrial food commercial haunting but true (Video)

Cafeterias: “Self-service” is an international word. You’ll find self-service restaurants in big cities everywhere, offering low-price, low-risk, low-stress, what-you-see-is-what-you-get meals. A sure value for your euro is a department-store cafeteria. These places are designed for the shopper who has a sharp eye for a good value. At a salad bar, grab a plate and stack it like the locals do – high. Hungry sightseers also appreciate the handy, moderately priced cafeterias found in larger museums. Institution-affiliated cafes: If your wallet is as empty as your stomach, find a cheap, humble cafeteria that’s associated with (and subsidized by) an institution – such as a university, city hall, church, hospital, charity, senior center, fire station, union of gondoliers, retired fishermen’s club and so on. (These are sometimes called mensas.) Profits take a backseat to providing good food at a good price – and many of these places welcome the public to pull up a chair. Options range from a semi-swanky City Hall cafeteria in Oslo, to student canteens in university towns (such as Salzburg, Austria), to Poland’s dreary-looking but cheap “milk bars.” Bakeries and sandwich shops: Bakeries are a good place to pick up basic sandwiches, tiny pizzas, or something equally cheap and fast but with more of a regional flavor (such as savory pasties in England or a “croque-monsieur” sandwich in France). Chains that sell good, healthful sandwiches, salads and pastries are Britain’s Pret a Manger, Norway’s Deli de Luca , and Spain’s Pans & Co. Local deli-like shops are popular in many parts of Europe; try a traiteur in France or a rosticceria in Italy. The business-lunch crowd invariably knows the best place for an affordable fill-the-tank bite. McEurope: Fast-food restaurants are everywhere.

Food and Wine All-Stars Hit Vegas

From left to right: Shawn McClain, Michael Mina, Masa Takayama, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Julian Serrano and Jean Philippe Maury

Photo:Michael Jackson ONE is a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience Photo:Wet and wild at Encore Beach Club Photo:The Westin Lake Las Vegas Photo:Park on Fremont Photo:The imposing edifice of the Mob Museum Photo:Gold, black and breathtaking: The Bank at Bellagio Photo:Eyecandy Sound Lounge at Mandalay Bay Photo:The incomparable Hakkasan Photo:Gordon Ramsay’s take on fish and chips at GR Pub & Grill Photo:Andrea’s 5-spice garlic lobster Photo:The epic Fatty Melt from Citizens Kitchen & Bar Photo:Summer sizzles at the Stratosphere Photo:For $250,000, you too can control the Fountains of Bellagio Photo:ARIA Resort & Casino Photo:Dining 180 feet above the Strip with Dinner in the Sky Photo:You will get wet: Wet ‘n’ Wild water park returns to Vegas Photo:Sky Combat Ace lets you take the controls for a bit of pretend dogfighting Photo:Topshop will open a 20,000-square-foot retail space inside Fashion Show Mall October 3, 2013 From Oct. 4 to 6, spend time with culinary superstars in an incredible three-day affair hosted by the MGM Grand, Bellagio and Aria. Treat yourself to gastronomic delights, cooking demos, wine classes, parties and dining meet-ups with Michelin-starred chefs and fellow food and wine connoisseurs at the fourth annual Food and Wine All-Star Weekend. The culinary celebration launches at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 4, featuring the cooking demonstration and sake-tasting event Ten Ways to Sushi with Shibuya Executive Chef Heather Zheng. By 8 p.m., splurge on sample delights and refreshing cocktails at the First Course Kick-Off Party. The All-Star Brunch with celebrity chefs opens the Oct. 5 festivities at 11 a.m. If you have a big appetite, dont miss the poolside All-Star Burger Bash with Joel Robuchon and Michael Mina at 1:30 p.m. If youre a wine lover, check out Syrah That Will Change Your Life, led by Master Sommelier Jason Smith at 2 p.m. Satisfy your epicurean cravings with Six-Course Bliss with Joel Robuchon at 7 p.m., then take home his personally signed cookbook. The weekends highlight happens at 7 p.m. with a specialized menu and exemplary wine pairing in A Harvest Dinner with Michael Mina.