Roach infestation shuts down popular Pearl City restaurant

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UPDATE: On Thursday, the owner of Buzz’s Original Steak House confirmed that the Pearl City restaurant is closed for good. View the full update here.

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Buzz’s Original Steak House in Pearl City is closed until it cleans up a roach infestation.

“The inspector had relayed that they did have a roach infestation problem and the owners of the establishment voluntarily closed their facility until they get that problem under control,” said Peter Oshiro, Sanitation Branch, Department of Health.

Health officials say it received a complaint on Wednesday, June 13, about roaches in the restaurant.

The inspection report said the restaurant has tried to address the infestation by having a pest company visit the location on Thursday, June 21.

On Friday, June 22, the Department of Health issued the restaurant a red placard from after an inspection showed there were still issues.

According to the health inspector’s report, roaches were observed throughout the restaurant at different stages of growth.

The roaches were “walking on food-contact surfaces of equipment and utensils” and they were also seen in the dining area’s furniture and carpet.

Workers tell us the restaurant has been closed since Sunday, June 24.

When we called the restaurant, we were told they were closed because of plumbing issues. The state also noted that the plumbing system was not properly repaired or maintained and found several pipes leaking. 

“Roach infestations can come from a lot of different things. Let’s say you own a restaurant and you have leaking plumbing and let’s say one side of the wall is always wet, that’s one thing that always attracts roaches and rodents,” Oshiro said. 

Officials recommended that the restaurant address the roach infestation by cleaning grease deposits and other repairs.

“Typically, roach infestations do not lead directly to foodborne illnesses, but because roaches and rodents are an indication they have sanitation controls at the facility, we will close them down if they have infestations,” Oshiro said. 

Aside from the roach infestation, the state reported other violations such as each hand washing sink had no paper towels or drying devices. Some food items were not protected from cross-contamination. 

“Once we issue a red placard, we have no time frame for corrections. The public is protected by the establishment being closed,” Oshiro said. 

The restaurant will remain closed until it can fix the violations.

The Buzz’s Original Steak House in Lanikai is not affected. We called the restaurant to speak to a manager and was told someone would get back to us.

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