Gombas said state and local departments generally can’t afford to refuse the FDA contracts because they are using that money to balance their budgets.
Other highlights from the NEHA survey respondents include:
- 17% of local agencies decreased abilities to do routine inspections;
- Of the smaller local agencies (responsible for populations up to 250,000) who must investigate food manufacturer or processor facility outbreaks, 60% report they do not have capacity to meet that responsibility.
- Of state agencies with jurisdictions greater than 1 million, 42% do not have the capacity to sample foods and 60% do not have the capacity to collect and process environmental swabs.
Survey respondents represented 39 states. The most local department responses were from California, representing 9% of all participants. Participation by state agency staffs was highest among Florida participants, who accounted for 15% of those respondents.