FDA Scales Back Domestic Inspections Amid COVID-19 Pandemic.
The FDA announced that it has temporarily postponed all domestic routine surveillance facility inspections. These are facility inspections the FDA traditionally conducts every few years based on a risk analysis. Importantly, all domestic for-cause inspection assignments will be evaluated and will proceed on a case-by-case basis if deemed mission-critical. For example, food facilities experiencing a Class I recall may still reasonably expect an inspection. During this interim period, the FDA is evaluating additional ways to conduct for-cause inspections including, among other things, evaluating records in lieu of conducting an onsite inspection. Earlier in the month, the FDA postponed most foreign inspections through April 2020.