Department of Health Suspends Permit of Popular Bakery for Unsanitary Conditions

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health has suspended the permit for Kanemitsu Bakery, located at 79 Ala Malama Street in Kaunakakai on the island of Moloka‘i, for producing baked goods manufactured at the facility under unsanitary conditions. State health officials met with owner George Kanemitsu on June 25, 2012 and issued the suspension which closes bakery operations until a plan of correction is completed and approved.

On June 15, 2012, the DOH received an anonymous public complaint alleging that insects and foreign substances were found in bread rolls purchased from Kanemitsu Bakery. This led to an investigation of the facility by health officials on June 20, 2012. The facility also has pending violations that resulted in the DOH issuing a $90,000 penalty for unsanitary conditions found during routine inspections conducted in March of this year.

The inspection on June 20 revealed serious deficiencies in the maintenance and manufacturing practices conducted at the facility including: visual sighting of rodents during the inspection, no water available at the rinse compartment of the sink, unclean food preparation surfaces, no soap and hand towels at hand washing sinks, and general unsanitary conditions.

In order to assist Kanemitsu Bakery in correcting the conditions that led to the permit suspension, the DOH is working closely with the owner and providing a check-list of concerns that need to be addressed by the facility in order for their permit to be reinstated. The bakery portion of the Moloka‘i facility will remain closed while an intensive mitigation plan developed with the DOH is completed, and measures are taken to ensure consistent and lasting compliance with all food safety regulations. The restaurant portion of the facility remains open and was not included in the permit suspension as it operates out of a separate, permitted kitchen.

The DOH Sanitation Branch protects and promotes the health of Hawai‘i residents and visitors through education of food industry workers and regulation of food establishments statewide. The branch conducts routine inspections of facilities where food products are prepared, manufactured, distributed or sold. The branch also investigates possible food safety violations that may be the cause of food borne illnesses, and allegations of adulterated foods. Health inspectors work with business owners, workers, and the food industry to ensure safe food preparation and sanitary conditions.

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