This is turning out to be a very challenging year for some Hawaii restaurants, although actions by the State Department of Health (DOH) could help Hawaii visitors simultaneously. There have been three recent Hawaii restaurant closures in the past few months alone for health violations. And these aren’t fly-by-night places where we would have even suspected the possibility of problems occurring. Read on for how to check restaurant safety before dining.
Here’s a list of restaurants that have received red placards and closed by DOH since March. Keep in mind that prior problems may not be indicative of current ones. Once a restaurant has been placarded, the inspectors will advise on changes required, after which the restaurant will remediate its issues and reopen after approval by DOH.
Maui Brewing Company, Lahaina (Kahana), Maui.
Yesterday, the Maui Brewing Company in Lahaina was closed by DOH. The closure was primarily due to a cockroach and rodent infestation that DOH said was present during their inspection.
Among the DOH findings, “Rodent droppings and live cockroach activity were observed throughout the establishment, including on food items… Two dead rodents were also observed in rodent traps.” Other issues were found, including the ability for pests to enter the facility, grease, and other food debris, a lack of proper soap and paper towel facilities, and more. A follow-up inspection as soon as today will reveal whether the offenses have been rectified and whether or not the restaurant can be reopened.
Maui Brewing Company has nearly 4,000 4.4-star Google Reviews.
Cafe Mambo, Paia, Maui
DOH issued the infamous red “Closed” placard in March on Café Mambo. They said that was done “to protect public health.”
The restaurant was shuttered until all violations were resolved. The problems were revealed during a March 14 routine inspection. DOH said the issues included critical and non-critical food safety violations that included roaches throughout the restaurant. This doorway allowed entry of flies and other pests and improper temperature control for cold food storage.
Cafe Mambo has nearly 1,000 4.4-star Google Reviews.
Cheeseburger in Paradise, Lahaina, Maui
In April, Cheeseburger in Paradise was shuttered by a red safety placard following an inspection that resulted from an anonymous complaint.
The Front Street Lahaina restaurant was operating at the time without adequate hot water, resulting in their inability to wash, degrease and sanitize as required. DOH followed up to be sure that the problem was rectified. The restaurant replaced its water heater and installed a hot water boost system to comply with state safety rules. DOH called the situation “An imminent health hazard.” The restaurant was also written up for “grease build-up on the surrounding walls/equipment.”
Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant has almost 5,000 4.2-star Google Reviews.
Restaurant safety is an issue close to Beat of Hawaii.
Early this summer, we were in London covering the coronation and the relationship between Hawaii and the UK. We both became ill with food poisoning following lunch at a renowned restaurant. It’s a reminder that food poisoning can happen anywhere and play havoc with your vacation. As mentioned in a prior post, we also had food poisoning on Kauai a few years ago at a defunct restaurant, which the Department of Health subsequently cited.
Here’s what you can do – and we do too, to protect yourself.
The State of Hawaii Department of Health and Tyler Technologies has implemented a beneficial tool for visitors and residents to learn about restaurant safety before visiting.
On the Safety Inspection Portal, enter the restaurant name where you seek information to find the latest inspection and the details. We were surprised to find several restaurants had yellow warning placards issued. Regarding others, we saw some that hadn’t been inspected in years. So that led us to wonder if those with recent inspections would be safer. Let us know your thoughts!