[A press release from State Department of Health was issued Thursday, January
11, at 2:37 p.m. See below. As a note, the restaurant, Sam Choy's Kai
Lanai, is owned by Kona Daze, LLC, which operates out of Colorado Springs,
Richard Holland, Principal. In 2011, he purchased the rights to use Sam Choy's name and menus.
I do not know the current status, but I believe Mr. Choy has not been affiliated
directly for more than a year. -Sherry Bracken]
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
VIRGINIA PRESSLER, M.D.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2018 18-007
Department of Health cites Sam Choy’s Kai Lani restaurant for
unlawful placard removal and food code violations
KAILUA-KONA, HI – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued
a Notice of Violation and Order against Kona Daze, LLC (dba Sam Choy’s
Kai Lani) with a penalty fine of $13,000. Violations include intentionally
removing the posted yellow “Conditional Pass” placard from their facility
and re-posting a green “Pass” placard, and non-compliance with food
safety requirements during routine and follow-up inspections.
Sam Choy’s Kai Lani is located at the Keauhou Shopping Center at 78-6831
Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona. The company has 20 days to 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, environmental health
program manager. “Since the start of the placarding program in July 2014,
we’ve seen good compliance with the food industry; this is only the fifth
incident involving tampering with a placard.”
On Jan. 4, 2018, DOH conducted a routine inspection at Sam Choy’s Kai
Lani and issued a yellow placard for five 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 and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Sam Choy’s Kai Lani was cited for the following major food code violations:
bare-handed contact with ready-to-eat foods; improper storage of raw foods
above other foods; failure to date-stamp refrigerated ready-to-eat foods;
failure to ensure the availability of hand wash sinks; and failure to provide
hand wash sinks with hand towels.
On Jan. 5, the department conducted an inspection in response to an anonymous
complaint that the yellow placard posted at Sam Choy’s Kai Lani by a
DOH inspector on Jan. 4, had been removed by restaurant staff and replaced
with a green placard from a previous inspection. The onsite inspection
verified the complaint, and a DOH inspector re-posted the yellow “Conditional
Pass” placard and removed the invalid green placard.
According to Hawaii 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.
A follow-up inspection on Jan. 8 revealed there were still outstanding
issues with improper hand-washing technique, bare-hand contact with foods,
improper storage of foods and improper date-stamping of foods to be discarded.
An additional follow-up inspection conducted on Jan. 10 found ongoing violations
of bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat foods and a violation for failing
to adhere to the restaurant’s written procedure for disposition of perishable
food out of refrigeration beyond the prescribed time period. A yellow placard
will be displayed at the restaurant until all violations have been corrected.
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