Food inspectors return to Aloha Stadium

Food inspectors return to Aloha Stadium

HALAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - While Warrior fans watched the action on the turf on Saturday, health inspectors monitored the food stands. Ronald Loo headed straight for the concession booths at Aloha Stadium. Last weekend's game was the first time the Department of Health has conducted checks at the facility in several years due to budget cuts.

"We try to get here hours before the event starts so we can catch whatever prep work they're doing, try and catch whatever violations, and have them correct it before the event starts," said sanitarian Ronald Loo.

Loo temporarily shut down about 4 of the 13 vendors he visited last Saturday.

"A lot of them were serving food, but they weren't able to wash their hands, so their hands could have been contaminated in one way or another and they were handling food. They didn't have the proper handwashing station set up at the time," Loo explained.

Loo returned to the stadium to take a look at some of the other booths.

"We're looking at cross contamination of raw products, making sure that the refrigerated products are kept at the proper temperatures they're supposed to be, hot foods are kept at the proper hot holding temperatures," said Loo.

Centerplate operates the food and beverage stands. Workers make sure the non-profit groups that come in to run the booths comply with all the rules in case of an inspection.

"We anticipate they come every game, even though they don't come. So we've been really meticulous about making sure we have our thermometers and we're checking everything," said Centerplate area leader Rosie Rowe.

It can be a challenge to keep up with all the hungry fans waiting for food.

"The lines get long. We want to pump out food fast, but we also gotta make sure everybody's changing their gloves and doing the temperature. It gets kind of chaotic," Rowe said.

"Without being inspected regularly, especially with a mass feeding venue like this, where there is tens of thousands of people, if one thing goes wrong, it can affect a whole lot of people," said Loo.

Loo closed down only one vendor during this latest inspection. It's unclear if the inspectors will return for the Warriors' remaining four home games this season. According to Loo, that decision is in the hands of his supervisors.