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National Restaurant Association - Senate ensures food inspections will continue

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Senate ensures food inspections will continue

The National Restaurant Association applauded the U.S. Senate for closing a funding gap that would allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to continue inspecting food processing facilities despite sequestration.

The amendment, introduced March 20 by Sen. Roy Blunt, R.-Mo., and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., was included in the Continuing Resolution measure that ensures inspections at meat, poultry and egg production facilities will go on uninterrupted and that food inspectors will not be furloughed.

“We are pleased that the Senate passed this critical amendment targeted toward ensuring that inspections at U.S. meat, poultry and egg processing facilities continue without interruption, as that would have had a negative impact on both the availability and cost of those products to restaurant operators and, ultimately, consumers,” said Scott DeFife, the NRA’s executive vice president of Policy & Government Affairs.

DeFife noted the industry had concerns that furloughing inspectors might affect restaurants’ business operations. He indicated that halted inspections could potentially have caused sporadic food shortages.

Because of the amendment’s passage, those issues will now be averted.

“Restaurants’ bottom lines are already squeezed by elevated wholesale food costs, so adding potential product shortages and resulting price volatility to that would have been detrimental to the restaurant industry,” DeFife said.

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