Oct. 13 update: The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has fined an Oahu bakery $22,000 for allegedly opening the day after being shut down for food safety violations. The department stated that “health inspectors had confirmed allegations that the bakery opened on Oct. 7 and conducted sales of baked products after being closed by DOH.” The Paalaa Kai Bakery in Waialua, Oahu, was fined $12,000 for “numerous temperature violations” and an additional $10,000 for “the sale of potentially adulterated food products,” according to DOH. The bakery’s owners may request a hearing to contest the order, health officials added. “Any and all food items produced or held at an establishment after it is closed by health inspectors is considered adulterated as it was held under conditions that may be detrimental to public health. The temporary suspension of the bakery’s food permit will remain in effect until all cold holding violations have been corrected and verified with a health inspection by DOH,” the department stated. Previous coverage follows: A popular bakery on Oahu’s North Shore is the first food establishment to be shut down since Hawaii’s food safety inspection placard program started last year. The Paalaa Kai Bakery in Waialua specializes in Portuguese and other sweet treats. In issuing the red placard on Oct. 6 closing the bakery, the Hawaii State Department of Health was following its new food safety placard inspection program instituted in 2014. Health officials had initially issued a yellow one at the end of July to the Oahu bakery but reportedly ramped up to red after a follow-up inspection showed that refrigeration problems had not been fixed. “It’s shocking from the standpoint that this firm was given a lot of chances in terms of follow up inspections to commit to compliance and for some reason they were not able to, so we were forced to give them the red card,” said Peter Oshiro, the department’s director of vector control.
“Part of the issue might be some of their aging equipment,” said Janice Okubo, a health department spokeswoman. The bakery opened in 1970.
According to media reports, department officials held a formal meeting with the bakery owner on Sept. 23 and conducted a food safety class on Oct. 1 at the bakery for the owner and the employees.
Then the Oct. 6 inspection revealed that foods which require temperature controls at or below 41 degrees F to prevent bacterial growth, such as sliced turkey, roast beef, cream-filled pastries and custard pies, were being held at anywhere between 51 to 56 degrees F. “Food storage for perishable items have to be below 41 degrees. When we did the final follow up on October 6 — numerous items like cold cuts, cream-filled pastries, cocoa puffs, custard pies — were all above 50 degrees, so they weren’t even in the ballpark,” Oshiro said. The bakery’s operating permit can be reinstated if the owner requests another inspection and the facility meets health department requirements.
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