What happens when the government furloughs the meat inspectors?
Today’s rant is by Ronald D. Southard, CEO at SafeSourcing!
We (I am positive that I am speaking for almost everyone) are all extremely tired of the partisan politics that are playing themselves out in Washington D.C. We are all inundated daily with related information which is more focused on a group of adults trying to get along, than doing what it is we elected them to do. We see this play out daily on TV, in newspapers, on the internet and if we manage to turn on the radio in our car between appointments, we hear it there too. This in and of itself can make one sick.
However, I am writing about another type of sickness, one that can make the general population extremely ill (food borne illness) and in severe cases can result in death. You might be asking at this point what the heck does this have to do with procurement. The answer is a lot, think food safety programs; which are part of most companies corporate social responsibility initiatives (CSR) and driven by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and Safe Quality Foods (SQF). For retail companies that sell repackaged foods, and for hospitality organizations that prepare and serve food to the general public from quick service to fine dining establishments as well as the suppliers and distributors that source it and provide it to them for use. This process is a huge undertaking for these companies and requires government support.
I was checking out Reuters earlier today and came across a piece by Charles Abbott titled “USDA chief says meat inspector furloughs still months away” What’s scary is that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the furloughs to take place later this year might only be 11-12 days for meat inspectors. The Obama administration says it could be as many as 15 days. If this were to include all 8400 inspectors, that would be up to 126,000 days or 345 man years. That’s a lot of work inspecting or reporting on inspections that is not going to be done at a time of the year consumption trends up because of the upcoming holidays. The numbers sound a lot scarier when you look at them this way. So here’s to our collective health.
We look forward to and appreciate your support.