SHARECOMMENTMORE

By Mike Rush

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - The White House is suggesting these federal cuts could have an impact on the safety of the food we eat.

It sounds pretty ominous. Talking points on the White House website stating outbreaks of food borne illness are a serious threat to families then going on to say there could be as many as 2,100 fewer food inspections because of sequestration.

Your take away from that might be that bad meat and poultry will end up making it to your market and then your table.

But the fact is federal guidelines require meat and poultry to be inspected before they can be sold and ultimately eaten.

So the real risk seems to be not so much tainted food, but limited supplies of it. And that could mean we might have to pay more.

That's because if inspectors have to take furloughs, the USDA says processing plants will have to shut down during that time period, and inspections will be halted.

That shutdown is nothing to laugh at. The USDA says two weeks of lost production could cost more than $10 billion nationwide.