Maui businesses turn to social media to calm rat lungworm fears

Maui businesses turn to social media to calm rat lungworm fears

KIHEI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - With growing concern about rat lungworm disease, some Maui businesses are using social media to reassure customers that their products are safe.

A video posted on Facebook by Fork & Salad Maui shows chef Travis Morrin explaining exactly how the restaurant's greens are cleaned.

The farms wash the produce first. At the restaurant, the lettuce goes through a prewash and then into an ice bath, with an organic solution, before being rinsed off.

Kale is carefully scrubbed with a brush.

"We, at this time, are not sourcing any of our fresh local produce from East Maui, because of this, so that we can protect our customers," said Morrin. "We are still doing our best to support all of our local farms."

The Kihei eatery only uses local produce, and concerns about the disease have reduced sales by about 50%.

"There is definitely a little hype of scare going on in the community. Our sales have dropped drastically over the last few weeks," said general manager Jennifer Lazzaro.

Oko'a Farms in Kula also posted photos on Facebook to explain the safety measures in place. The business is dealing with plenty of questions from restaurants, retailers and shoppers at farmers' markets.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.