KAILUA-KONA — A state Department of Health-ordered closure of Genki Sushi at Kona Commons remains in effect pending a third follow-up inspection slated Friday.
The restaurant was shuttered and a red “CLOSED” placard was posted May 22 following a state health inspection prompted by multiple complaints of cockroaches seen inside the establishment. The location failed to pass follow-up inspections conducted May 24 and Tuesday.
During the two-hour Tuesday follow-up, state inspectors found roaches inside a glove box, which was disposed of; take-home bento boxes wet with an unknown substance, which were disposed of; and adult German roaches in the conveyor control panel, floors in the sushi prep area and utensil storage area, according to the department’s Food Establishment Inspection Report.
The state also noted that a majority of the restaurant’s dry goods are being stored in vermin-proof containers, and that additional vermin-proof containers are on order to store dry goods and other items. Conveyor belts had been disassembled and thoroughly cleaned.
According to the person in charge at the time of the Tuesday inspection, Terminix has treated the facility, but there were no records available for review. The restaurant’s operator was not present.
To reopen, the facility still needs to seal-off vermin-entry points; inspect thoroughly all dry storage equipment to ensure that there are no cockroaches inside of boxes and containers; remove old traps inside conveyor belt housing; and ensure that records exist for any pesticide application in the food establishment.
The closure of the Kona Commons Genki Sushi will remain in effect until the restaurant passes a DOH inspection and receives approval from the state to reopen.
Anna Koethe, DOH spokeswoman, said that since May 22 the state has inspected adjoining food establishments in Kona Commons.
“When food establishment locations are adjoined, such as in a mall or food court setting, we are certainly concerned with the infestation going beyond the affected establishment,” Koethe said.
Dairy Queen and Daiichi Ramen, the two food establishments located next to Genki Sushi, were inspected on May 23, she said. A few roaches were observed, but there were no signs of roach infestation or active nesting within the establishments.
Additionally, Subway was inspected Tuesday with no infestation noted. Inspectors plan to visit Ultimate Burger and Panda Express today as well.
“Our inspectors have already spoken to the Kona Commons facility management and impressed upon them the need for a coordinated pest control effort within the whole complex. They are heeding this recommendation and Kona Commons is currently coordinating such an effort with all tenants,” Koethe said.
Genki Sushi did not respond for comment as of press time. However, late last week Mary Hansen, vice president and chief administrative officer, Genki Sushi USA, Inc., said the company was working closely with the DOH to correct the situation to bring the restaurant into compliance with DOH requirements and guidelines.
“All of our restaurants have monthly exterminator appointments and all locations passed their most recent DOH inspections, including the Kona location,” Hansen said May 22. “We’re hoping the DOH can inspect the restaurant tomorrow and allow us to open for business.”