DOH Issues Cease and Desist Order to Mālama Meals for Alleged Food Safety Violations
A business operation that was preparing and providing meals on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i and Moloka‘i has been issued a Cease and Desist Order from the Hawai‘i Department of Health Food Safety Branch. Ahmad Ramadan, doing business as Mālama Meals, located at 91-100 Farrington Highway on O‘ahu was cited by the DOH.
“The operation had multiple food safety issues as it prepared and packaged hot meals on O‘ahu and shipped them to the neighbor islands without proper temperature controls,” said Peter Oshiro, chief of the DOH Food Safety Branch. “Without proper controls, the risk of an outbreak of food illness is high and could have a devastating impact especially on those who are elderly and have underlying conditions.”
The DOH conducted an inspection of the food operation on May 15, 2020 in response to a complaint, and observed “numerous violations indicating the operator did not have active managerial control over food being produced.”
The DOH reported the following food safety violations were observed:
- Food handlers were not monitoring cooking food temperatures of poultry.
- Food handlers were not properly washing their hands.
- The hand wash sink, which is restricted for handwashing only, was being used to store unclean items.
- No paper towels were available at two separate hand wash sinks and no soap was available at one of them.
- Improper cooling – Poultry was not cooled from 135°F to 70°F within two hours to reduce growth of pathogenic bacteria.
- Improper and non-existent date/time stamp labeling for ready-to-eat foods being held at room temperature. Food temperatures were not being monitored to properly indicate correct time that product was removed from temperature control
“Although we appreciate the work being done by Mālama Meals and others involved in providing meals for distribution on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i and Moloka‘i during these difficult times, we also need to be sure that health and safety guidelines related to food safety are strictly followed,” said Bruce Anderson, Director of the Department of Health. “Shipping prepared foods and distributing them to sometimes remote communities on the Neighbor Islands in a timely manner poses unique challenges. The last thing anyone needs is a widespread outbreak of food poisoning on top of concerns about COVID-19.”
For more information on the department’s restaurant placarding program go to https://health.hawaii.gov/san/.
To search and view food safety inspection reports of Hawai‘i food establishments and businesses go to https://hi.healthinspections.us/hawaii/