Health Department Fines Eatery For Removing Yellow Placard
The Hawai‘i Department of Health Sanitation Branch has issued a Notice of Violation and Order against a Honolulu eatery for unlawfully removing a yellow “Conditional Pass” placard from their facility.
The yellow placard was issued on Sept. 24 for four critical violations at Shaka Shaka Tea Express on South King Street. Health inspectors noticed that the sign was removed when they revisited the facility for a follow up inspection. The business was fined $2,000.
Under the state’s restaurant placarding program, DOH’s Food Safety Program has conducted more than 40,000 inspections and issued over 6,500 yellow “Conditional Pass” placards. Of those yellow placards issued, only six have resulted in red “Closed” placards due to repeated non-compliance.
On Maui, four red placards were issued between Aug. 22 and Sept. 9 due to extensive health violations.
“The public has a right to know when violations occur during inspections at local food establishments for their own health and safety, which is why placard removal is a serious public trust violation with substantial consequences,” said Peter Oshiro, environmental health program manager. “Since the start of the new placarding program, we’ve seen excellent compliance with the food industry; this is only the sixth incident involving tampering with a placard.”
According to Hawai‘i Administrative Rules 11-50-9 (b), only authorized DOH agents may post or remove a color-coded placard indicating the compliance status of a food establishment.