September 2019 Safety Topic

Getting on the News with a RED PLACARD

There have been now 4 restaurants on Maui that recently were given Red Placards because of Excessive Roach and Vermin in the facilities. Why did they become big news? What steps can you take to make sure you are not part of a headline like that?
Why did these become big news?? Welcome to the new Millennium!! Social media and the ease of taking a photo and sending it out is great when your Chef creates a new dish, but photos of rats and bugs is so much more viral. Peter Oshiro of the Department of Health gave an interview https://www.khon2.com/news/more-customers-reporting-rodent-infestations-at-eateries/ where he mentions there has been an increase of reports by customers of less than sanitary conditions. Photos and videos are additional evidence that the DoH uses to act on (send an inspector) I also recommended that if a restaurant feels not clean, guests should think twice about eating there. Peter Oshiro previously urged customers to contact the DoH with sanitation concerns. I can’t help to think that an unhappy or un-listened to employee would take photos and contact the DoH as well.
Two of the restaurants were in a strip mall in a connected building. Something that is frequently seen in these types of businesses is that one unit may have some vermin present, so the Pest Control technician will treat in that restaurant. A few days later, another restaurant next door or a few doors down suddenly has vermin! Bugs and their ilk do not always have their origin in a food facility, so a neighboring restaurant may not necessarily be the source. When the HI DoH finds vermin in 1 facility in this type of building, it routinely visits the neighboring facilities.
A good recommendation is to work with the other businesses in the building to use the same Pest Company (try to get a multi-unit discount) to visit all on the same day or night. This can be arranged by the business owners or the property manager.
Other Red Placards were posted at 2 places that had anonymous customer complaints to the DoH over vermin activity. The DoH inspectors observed rat presence through droppings on countertops, equipment and floors. Cockroach activity was also seen. There was even a news report that had a photo of a rat sitting on a food shelf!!
Additional ways to prevent infestation include proper cleaning – which include moving equipment away from wall and cleaning under and behind – making sure there is no access to the building thru holes in wall, ceiling, floor and door bottoms, and using a Pest Control Service and following their advice.
Probably the most important is self inspection!!! The vermin and conditions that allowed them in and to grow did not happen overnight. Management needs to check every corner and rotate the stock in a facility to uncover any pest activity and be aware of any trouble areas.
Mahalo to Manolo Morales and the KHON2 team for keeping the Hawaiian people aware of food safety issues.
To set up any type of Audit, please contact
Peter Bellisario via email peter@peterbfoodsafety.com or phone (808)491-7766.

As always, Hawaii Restaurant Association members are eligible for a discount on our already reasonable fees.

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