HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A rush to protect the public is hurting some Hawaii businesses. The state Department of Health is warning people not to eat more than a hundred local food brands, but the recall list isn't accurate. There have been no reports of illnesses linked to the products, but officials decided to issue the recall and order First Commercial Kitchen to suspend production due to different violations.
3660 on the Rise is at the top of the list for its lemon miso dressing, but Russell Siu said the company switched to a different manufacturer about 5 years ago.
"I think in people's minds they think that we put out some bad product so it kind of hurts us as far as business-wise like that," said Siu.
The restaurant isn't the only business that said the Department of Health made a mistake. The owner of Aloha Salads said a new manufacturer started producing its tropical fruit vinaigrettes more than a year ago.
"We're a mom and pop. We've worked hard to build our brand," said Chris Lufrano, owner of Aloha Salads. "Concerned, you know when you get recalls like this, it can bring businesses down."
Health officials ordered First Commercial Kitchen to suspend production at its plant in Waipio. Recent inspections showed evidence of improper manufacturing standards that could lead to possible health risks like botulism. This is the same facility that makes Ohana Flavors Black Bean Sauce and Barb's Black Bean Sauce which were both recalled last week. Peter Kam from First Commercial Kitchen issued a statement that said, "This blanket recall implies that all products from my clients are an 'immediate and substantial hazard to the public health,' and unjustly tarnishes the good name and reputation of many innocent parties, without any evidence at all." Kam said the recall is premature. He also said the company would work with authorities to address any concerns.
The Department of Health said it wasn't able to get an accurate list of products from First Commercial Kitchen, so it used the list on the company's website. Officials said they acted out of caution. They also said that they would issue an update if they could get the information. Many businesses, however, are still upset about the negative publicity.
"Not only us, but a whole bunch of people. Affects a whole lot of people. It affects the economy of Hawaii, too," said Siu.
Other businesses that said they were on the list by mistake include Indigo Eurasian Cuisine and Honolulu Gourmet Foods.