Missouri Calls for Better Oversight of Local Food Safety

December 23, 2008

A state audit of Missouri food safety inspections calls for the Department of Health and Senior Services to improve its oversight of local health authorities.

The audit says the state health department should be doing more to ensure the 114 local health authorities comply with restaurant inspection requirements.

The review found it had been a decade since the state department compared state inspections with local results. That’s supposed to happen every three years, but was stopped because of budget cuts and staff shortages.

Scott Clardy, the administrator for a state food safety division, said the health department already has taken steps to fix the oversight problems. Clardy said Missouri food safety is improving and that infection rates for the four leading food-borne illnesses have dropped 1.5 percent since 2006.

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