Which restaurants in Hawaii have people complained about?
What kind of food safety violation did your favorite restaurant get cited for?
Now, anyone can look it up online. Access the website here.
Two weeks after the state made its food inspections public, we’re digging deeper into the information posted online. The data is public, but the number of inspections and other figures are not simply listed.
All restaurants in Hawaii, the type of safety inspection it received, even the ingredients used in a meal that may have made a customer sick are included in the state’s new website.
“They want an explanation of why we saw certain things and why we did or did not do an action based on that,” said Peter Oshiro with the State Department of Health.
KHON2 spent days digging deeper, and found out DOH inspectors have checked out more than 4,800 locations across the state. They did 10,270 inspections, and have handed out more than 1,800 yellow or red placards.
The state is still in the process of entering more data, and told us Tuesday that 25 percent of food establishments received a yellow (conditional) card or red (closed) card.
“Is that a high number?” KHON2 asked.
“That’s a relative thing. I think what this shows is that 75 percent of establishments right now are fully compliant with rules and regulations,” Oshiro said. “Twenty-five percent yellow cards, we would like to see that down to 15 percent or below.”
To help, the state offers free food safety classes. It’s becoming increasingly popular since the introduction of the health department’s color-coded placard system.
“What I highly suggest is to have one cutting board for raw meats,” the instructor advises.
“I do take extra precautions on this, because it doesn’t matter who’s eating the food, it needs to be safe,” said Paul Sequeira, food safety student.
After days of researching the state’s website, we also found out just how many inspections started off as complaints from the public.
There were 723 inspections that were complaint-driven, including general and illness-related complaints.
“We investigate 100 percent of these programs in a very timely fashion,” Oshiro said. “Every single call, every single complaint, we will verify to see whether it’s true or not.”
We also found out that by the end of the summer, the state hopes to make food safety courses mandatory for restaurants as another step to improve the food industry.