Yesterday, Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Kansas Department of Agriculture announced that the agencies have joined forces to launch the new food safety website, FoodSafetyKansas.org. In a joint press release, the agencies explain that the new site is intended to give Kansas residents a way to file reports of food-related illness complaints and to let officials know about other issues they might notice, like restaurant employees not washing their hands or bugs and mice running around in supermarkets.
Under current Kansas law, the Department of Agriculture oversees restaurants while the Department of Health and Environment investigates reports of food-borne illnesses. The agency says it looks into up to 30 such outbreaks every year. Most of those outbreaks are ultimately blamed on norovirus but infections involving other pathogens are not unknown. Some of the most common culprits include:
- Shiga toxin-producing E. coli
- Clostridium perfringens
The main goal of the new site, say the agencies, is to reduce the number of anonymous complaints. Reports will be confidential but users will be required to provide a name, a location and some contact information.