KAUNAKAKAI, MOLOKAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Molokai's popular Kanemitsu Bakery will remain closed after a state inspector determined that it did not meet the requirements to reopen.
The bakery has been closed since a June 20 inspection by state health department officials. The inspection followed an anonymous public complaint, alleging that insects and foreign substances were found in bread rolls from the bakery.
An inspector from Honolulu flew to Molokai to examine the bakery Wednesday. Bakery owner George Kanemitsu was frustrated that it was a different inspector from the one who examined the bakery in June.
"One inspector comes, they want it this way. then the second inspector comes, it's a different inspector, and then I have to do something that is different. So I don't know which inspector I have to deal with," Kanemitsu said.
Kanemitsu's frustration showed during the examination. "Almost three months, we close. You know how much revenue we lost?" he told the inspector, who replied, "What I'm saying is that I was sent here because we agreed that these things would all be done, and I'm just going to verify that they are done."
But the verification did not come. "You can see that my report is going to indicate that it's not done," he told Kanemitsu. "I'll tell you what, it's never going to be done because you guys have it in for me," Kanemitsu angrily told the inspector. "This stuff is ridiculous already."
Some Molokai residents remain supportive of Kanemitsu. "He should be able to at least make his bread," said Patricia Palmer. "This is his livelihood and I firmly believe the state could be just a little bit kinder to the gentleman."
"I've been going through this bakery for over 70 years," said Lawrence Kalilikane. "I'm 72 now. Never once have I had anyone in my family complain about bread or if anything was wrong with it."
A health department spokesperson said when the bakery has completed the necessary repairs, it can request another inspection.
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.
"I don't know what's my plan now," said Kanemitsu. "Maybe I'll have to look for another bakery in Honolulu. I gotta do something because three months is a little bit too long."