The Kansas City Health Department has faced backlash for dumping out and pouring bleach on meals meant for the homeless earlier this month while citing issues related to how the food was prepared. 

The Kansas City Star reported that the group Free Hot Soup KC had intended to distribute food such as home-cooked chili, foil-wrapped sandwiches and soup to the homeless on Nov. 5. 

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But the city's health department confiscated the items at separate parks where the food was meant to be distributed.

Officials said that the volunteer group did not have a permit and that the food was not prepared in approved kitchens, therefore deeming it a public safety risk. 

"E. coli or salmonella or listeria can grow in the food," department director Rex Archer told Fox 32, a local news station. "And then you give that to homeless people who are more vulnerable, they will end up in the ER and even die from that exposure."

Kansas City Mayor Sly James concurred with the sentiment, tweeting that "rules are there to protect the public's health, and all groups must follow them, no exceptions."

The Star noted that volunteers with Free Hot Soup KC returned to a park in Kansas City with meals on hand on Sunday.

The newspaper noted that no health officials intervened in that gathering.