Had paused them due to surge in COVID-19 cases
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has resumed facility inspections after pausing them in December 2021 due to the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19.
FDA said that it resumed planning and conducting domestic surveillance inspections on February 7 and that it continues to conduct foreign and domestic mission-critical inspections.
FDA implemented temporary changes to its inspectional activities on December 29 “to ensure the safety of its employees and those of the firms it regulates,” it said. The agency said at the time that it would continue “mission-critical” work through January 19 but had temporarily postponed certain inspectional activities with the hopes of restarting these activities as soon as possible.
“The agency also continues to proceed with previously planned foreign surveillance inspections that have received country clearance and are within the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Level 1 or Level 2 COVID-19 travel recommendation. Planning for additional foreign surveillance inspections is ongoing, with an anticipated goal of conducting foreign prioritized inspections starting in April,” FDA said on its website. “Throughout all these activities, the agency remains committed to the health and safety of its investigators and will provide the protection needed to safely inspect facilities and conduct investigations at the ports and in agency laboratories.”
The FDA also is continuing remote foreign supplier verification program activities for human food and animal feed. Additionally, state inspections under the FDA contract have the discretion to make inspection decisions based on their local information.