Local Connection: Restaurant Inspections - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Restaurant Inspections

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By: Rick Blangiardi

It's a shame that the state cannot get its act together when it comes to restaurant inspections.

Most first-class cities have a grading system and a placard system so those dining have a good idea of whether the restaurant has passed inspection.

When Hawaii News Now first reported on the lack of inspections in 2010, we found that the state had only 10 inspectors for 5,800 restaurants on Oahu. Inspectors could only get inside a restaurant once every two and a half years.

Two years later, the state finally came up with a Hawaii-wide inspection system that introduced color-schemed placards.

A green card means that one major violation has been corrected or there were no violations at all. A yellow card would indicate two violations that have yet to be fixed. A red card means that the food permit was revoked and the establishment was shut down.

But when we visited the issue a couple of weeks ago, we found the placard system still has not been put into place and hasn't even moved into the public comment phase.

The good news is that now we have 17 inspectors and will have probably 25 by year's end.

The bad news is that inspection reports still are not on line. That project is still a year away, and public hearings probably won't start until fall.

It's time to get moving on this important issue and make sure that when you want to eat out, you can feel good about where you're eating.

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