Bakery at Kanemitsu Closed Amid Insect Allegation

June 27, 2012, 3:04 PM HST · Updated June 27, 4:16 PM
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By Wendy Osher

The Hawai‘i Department of Health has suspended the permit for the popular Kanemitsu Bakery, located in Kaunakakai on Moloka‘i, for allegedly producing baked goods manufactured at the facility under unsanitary conditions.

The restaurant portion of the facility remains open and was not included in the permit suspension as it operates out of a separate, permitted kitchen.

The bakery closure comes following an anonymous public complaint received on June 15, 2012, in which the complainant alleged that insects and foreign substances were found in bread rolls purchased from the bakery.

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This led to an investigation of the facility by health officials on June 20, 2012.

The Department of Health issued information this afternoon saying:

“The inspection on June 20 revealed serious deficiencies in the maintenance and manufacturing practices conducted at the facility including: visual sighting of rodents during the inspection, no water available at the rinse compartment of the sink, unclean food preparation surfaces, no soap and hand towels at hand washing sinks, and general unsanitary conditions.”

State health officials met with owner George Kanemitsu on June 25, 2012, and issued the suspension which closes bakery operations until a plan of correction is completed and approved.

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The facility also has pending violations that resulted in the issuance of a $90,000 penalty against the bakery. The department issued the penalty for unsanitary conditions they claim were found during routine inspections conducted in March of this year.

In order to assist Kanemitsu Bakery in correcting the conditions that led to the permit suspension, the department says it is working closely with the owner.  The department has provided the facility with a check-list of concerns that need to be addressed in order for the permit to be reinstated.

Officials at the Department of Health say the bakery portion of the Moloka‘i facility will remain closed while an intensive mitigation plan is developed and completed with the DOH.

In order to be reinstated, health department officials say measures must also be taken to ensure consistent and lasting compliance with all food safety regulations.

***Supporting information courtesy State of Hawai’i Department of Health.

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