Health Department Issues Red Placard to Kona Restaurant Over Several Violations
A restaurant in the heart of Kailua Village has been ordered closed temporarily by the state due to health code violations.
The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021, announced it has issued a red placard to Kamana Indian Cuisine Restaurant in Kailua-Kona on Hawai‘i Island. The food establishment has been closed and ordered to correct multiple food safety violations, which include roach infestation of the kitchen and food storage areas, evidence of active rodent infestation, and additional health hazards.
The restaurant has been directed to contact the DOH when the violations have been corrected, at which time a follow-up inspection will be conducted.
Health inspectors noted numerous live and dead roaches in the kitchen and food storage areas of the restaurant. Live roaches were observed crawling on walls, refrigeration units, food storage containers, and take-out containers. Live roaches were also found in containers of sugar, lentils, rice, and ginger.
Inspectors also noted evidence of an active rodent infestation within the restaurant. Fresh and dried rodent feces were observed on the kitchen floors, shelving units, food preparation surfaces, and food storage areas. Rodent rub marks were found at wall penetrations and in areas where ceiling tiles were improperly placed. Rodent gnaw marks were observed on packages of peas and dried tea.
The health inspectors also cited related risk factors that the restaurant is required to correct prior to reopening:
- Ceiling and wall openings were in disrepair and must be repaired to prevent entry of insects and rodents.
- Chemicals (roach poison and disinfectant) were improperly stored in food storage areas.
- Wet and discolored adulterated foods were improperly stored near the dishwashing sink.
- The physical facilities require cleaning, particularly the back of the kitchen area, mechanical equipment, and in-food prep/storage area to remove old food, grease, and grime.
- A professional pest control operator must be employed to regularly control the presence of insects and rodents.
The DOH Food Safety Branch protects and promotes the health of Hawai‘i residents and visitors through education of food industry workers and regulation of food establishments statewide. The branch conducts routine health inspections of food establishments where food products are prepared, manufactured, distributed, or sold. The branch also investigates the sources of COVID-19 outbreaks, food borne illnesses and potential adulteration; and is charged with mitigating the same to prevent any future occurrences. DOH food safety specialists work with business owners, food service workers, and the food industry to ensure safe food preparation practices and sanitary conditions.