HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against Iyo Seimen USA, Inc (d.b.a. Iyo Udon). The restaurant is cited $11,000 for intentionally removing the posted yellow "CONDITIONAL PASS" placard from its facility and for food safety violations cited during the health inspection resulting in the issuance of the yellow placard.
Iyo Udon is located on the mauka side of Ala Moana Shopping Center at 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. The company may request a hearing to contest the notice.
"Placard removal is a serious violation with substantial consequences because this act intentionally places profit above health and safety and compromises the public's trust and their right to know when violations occur during an inspection," said Peter Oshiro, DOH Sanitation, Food & Drug and Vector Control Branch Manager. "Since the start of the new placarding program, we've seen excellent compliance with the food industry; this is our first incident involving tampering with a placard."
On Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, DOH conducted a routine inspection at Iyo Udon and issued a yellow placard for seven major food code violations. A yellow placard is issued if there are two or more major violations observed during an inspection. Major violations are those conditions known to cause foodborne illnesses as recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Iyo Udon was cited for improper employee health and hygiene violations including employees not properly their washing hands, hand washing conducted in sinks reserved for food preparation, hand washing sinks blocked and inaccessible, no soap or paper towels available at hand washing areas, ready-to-eat foods not protected from cross-contamination by raw uncooked foods, and no sanitizer used to disinfect dishes.
The yellow placard posted by a DOH inspector at the entrance of the facility following the health inspection was removed by the facility manager from Saturday, Aug. 23, through Sunday Aug. 24, and reposted on Monday, Aug. 25. Only authorized DOH agents may post or remove a color-coded placard indicating the compliance status of a food establishment.
DOH conducted a follow-up inspection on Monday, Aug. 25, and Iyo Udon corrected all seven major violations and five good retail practice violations. A green placard is currently posted at the facility.
The DOH Sanitation Branch protects and promotes the health of Hawaii residents and visitors through education of food industry workers and regulation of food establishments statewide. The branch conducts routine health inspections of food establishments where food products are prepared, manufactured, distributed, or sold. The branch also investigates the sources of food borne illnesses and potential adulteration and is charged with mitigating foodborne outbreaks and/or the prevention of future occurrences. Health inspectors work with business owners, food service workers, and the food industry to ensure safe food preparation practices and sanitary conditions.
For more information on the department's new restaurant placarding program go to http://health.hawaii.gov/san/