The contract ends Jan. 9.
Here are more details about how the contract termination will affect Douglas County. The story first appeared Tuesday.
Today, there are two full-time inspectors from the local health department who inspect about 435 restaurants and other operations where food is served for immediate consumption on or off site. The Kansas Department of Agriculture has one inspector living in Douglas County who inspects the grocery and convenience stores, food processors and manufacturers, and food wholesalers and warehouses. There are about 150 of these establishments.
Starting Jan. 9, KDA will employ three inspectors, who live in Douglas County, to provide all of the food inspections in Douglas County. But, two of the inspectors will cover more than just Douglas County. One inspector will cover Douglas County and parts of Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties. Another inspector will cover Douglas County and parts of Johnson and Wyandotte counties.
The loss of the contract caused the local health department to eliminate two of its four positions within environmental health. There were two inspectors who were certified to conduct all inspections and two inspectors who were not trained in food service. After the contract ends, there will be two inspectors whose primary inspection duties will be sanitary code and recreational water facilities.
Statewide, KDA also cut its contracts with Geary, Reno, Riley and Saline counties. The five county contracts cost KDA about $245,000 each year, or 8.4 percent of its $2.9 million budget for food safety.
The contract cuts come on the heels of KDA’s announcement last week that it would cut safety and sanitation inspections of hotels, motels and other overnight lodging operations.
The agency lost $303,000 in Gov. Mark Parkinson’s latest round of state budget cuts. The cost of the lodging inspection program is $240,000 annually.
The department moved three full-time lodging inspectors into the state’s food safety program.
According to KDA, the current facility-to-inspector ratio is 391 to 1. After the contracts end, the ratio will be 398 to 1. The department oversees 11,969 licenses and has 30 inspectors.
To find food inspection reports, visit the Kansas Department of Agriculture's Web site.