The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) have partnered to launch a new food safety website. FoodSafetyKansas.org can be used to submit food-related illness complaints regarding restaurants, events or food items purchased at a grocery or convenience store. It can also be used to submit complaints about food establishments that did not cause an illness, such as observed problems with pests or lack of employee handwashing.
KDA handles complaints that do not involve illness, and performs inspections of all restaurants for which a complaint was submitted. KDHE processes illness complaints and begins an outbreak investigation if the complaint involves multiple people from multiple households, and those people have nothing else in common that could have caused their illnesses.
The goal of FoodSafetyKansas.org is to improve accessibility and reduce the number of anonymous complaints. Anonymous complaints hurt KDHE’s ability to start an investigation and confirm an outbreak.
KDHE typically investigates 10 to 30 food-related outbreaks each year. Most foodborne disease outbreaks reported in Kansas are caused by norovirus. Outbreaks caused by Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Listeria, and Clostridium perfringens have also been seen in recent years.