(BIVN) – A South Kona restaurant is the first food establishment in the State of Hawaiʻi to be issued a red placard by the health department for violating COVID-19 guidance.
The Hawai‘i Department of Health Food Safety Branch says it issued a red placard to Anahkahna Inc., dba The Korner Pocket Bar and Grill on Haleki‘i Street in Kealakekua.
The business was forced to closed on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, but was allowed to reopen the next day after a follow-up inspection.
From the Hawaiʻi Department of Health:
The Department of Health Food Safety Branch responded to a complaint about the establishment’s violations of physical distancing and face mask use requirements in food establishments and bars. As a result of the complaint, the Department of Health conducted an initial investigation on Aug. 19, 2020 and documented the following violations:
1. One employee was observed not wearing a face covering; and
2. Lack of 6-feet spacing between tables.
The health department issued copies of the State’s Guidance for Reopening Food Services Sector (Restaurants, Markets, and Food Manufacturing – May 21, 2020 Ver. 1.0) and a warning letter indicating the observed violations. The owner/operator of the establishment was also informed that any further violations of the DOH Guidance would result in the issuance of a red placard and the mandatory closure of the food establishment.
During a follow-up inspection on Aug. 24, 2020, the health department issued a red placard for the following violation and required the establishment to immediately stop operations:
1. Two employees were observed not wearing face coverings in the kitchen.
The company has 20 days to request a hearing to contest the notice.
A follow-up inspection on Aug. 25, 2020 showed the restaurant corrected the violation and was issued a green placard and allowed to reopen.
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 state-wide. 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 food borne illnesses and potential adulteration; and is charged with mitigating foodborne outbreaks and/or the prevention of future occurrences. Health inspectors work with business owners, food service workers, and the food industry to ensure safe food preparation practices and sanitary conditions.
For more information on the department’s new restaurant placarding program go [this website].