3,000 Go Hungry After Kansas City Health Department Seizes Two Tons of Donated BBQ

KC BBQEvery year, the leftover meat from American Royal’s World Series of Barbecue in Kansas City, MO, is donated to needy families. But this year the Kansas City Health Department caught wind of this charitable venture, and, rather than letting it go on unmolested, seized more than 4,200 pounds of meat and side dishes, tossing it in a dumpster and covering it in bleach.

“All of that food was uninspected,” said Kansas City Health Department Operations Manager Joe Williamson, “so that makes it from an unapproved source, it can not be served to the public.”

The meat was supposed to be donated to the Harvesters Community Food Network and Kookers Kare, an organization that specializes in distributing barbeque to hungry families.

“We’ve had a great partnership and we’ve been able to collect that food over the years,” said Harvesters Director of Communications Sarah Biles. “However, in recent years food safety regulations have gotten tighter and more strict and continue to change.”

According to Kookers Kare President Gary Benham, more than 3,000 people will go hungry because of the Kansas City Health Department’s actions. The Health Department responded to this statement by saying “3,000 people a year die of foodborne illness, so this is nothing to play with, it’s very serious.”

Instead of letting people make the choice of whether or not they want to put food that has not been inspected by the state into their starving bodies, the Kansas City Health Department unilaterally made the decision that at-risk Americans should go hungry. The Department can be reached by phone at 816-513-6008 or by email at health@kcmo.org.

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