USDA to investigate centipede in laulau - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

USDA to investigate centipede in laulau

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The US Department of Agriculture will investigate the centipede found in the package of Keoki's Laulau.

This is standard operating procedure because Keoki's is a wholesaler, and not a retailer.

In cases where foreign objects are found in food, the State Department of Health's Food and Drug branch investigates.

"The first thing we do is contact the owner or manager in charge of the operation and find out how the product is made" said Supervisor Lance Wong.  While it's protocol for contact to be made within 48 hours, Wong says 99% of contact is made the next day.

After that, investigators will do an on-site inspection of the process to try to determine how a foreign object got into the product, and how it can be prevented.  Additionally, time and temperature readings are measured.

All of this is done to prevent the unsettling experience of finding something in a food container that doesn't belong.

"Gloves in chips, worms, geckos, lizards in sealed cans of water or soda…We get all kinds" Wong noted.

The process is largely constructive, as the State wants to help business owners avoid another situation.

"They want to make sure it doesn't happen again, so together we try to figure out where it went wrong if it did, and how it can be prevented in the future".

The DOH can issue cease and desist notices and monetary penalties for chronic offenders.  However, in isolated instances like the one with Keoki's, there is no penalty.

Related Link:

Centipede found in 'Keoki's' laulau

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