KAILUA-KONA — Genki Sushi at Kona Commons reopened at 4 p.m. Friday, more than a month after state health officials shuttered the eatery after confirming complaints of cockroaches being seen inside the restaurant.
The Hawaii Department of Health shortly before noon Friday gave Genki Sushi approval to serve guests at the restaurant that’s been closed since May 22 under a red “CLOSED” placard. A green “PASS” placard was posted after the inspection was completed and no live vermin were found on Friday.
The reopening follows an “extensive month-long cleaning effort” that was focused on sanitation, increased pest control treatment and employee training, the company said in a press release.
“Our top priority is to serve safe, high-quality food and to provide a clean and welcoming environment for our customers,” said Mary Hansen, vice president and chief administrative officer for Genki Sushi USA, said in the release. “After an inspection by the Department of Health in late May, we took immediate steps to thoroughly treat, clean and sanitize the entire restaurant to comply with all food safety requirements and ensure that it meets our own equally high standards for all Genki Sushi restaurants in our state.”
Service is resuming after thorough cleaning of all food preparation, dining and storage areas, the company said. Genki disposed of all food items and single-serve utensils such as chopsticks, napkins and takeout containers. In addition, all of the employees at the restaurant have received additional training in cleaning, sanitation and food safety protocol.
In addition, pest control treatment will increase from twice a month to once a week at the Kailua-Kona restaurant.
The company said it will also bring in a professional cleaning company once a month to all of its restaurants statewide to supplement Genki’s already strict daily cleaning practices.
During the closure, Genki made additional improvements to the restaurant including painting the dining room as well as replacing and upgrading furniture and equipment.
“The recent condition of the Kailua-Kona restaurant did not reflect the high standards of cleanliness and food safety that our customers expect and deserve,” said Hansen. “We appreciate the guidance provided by the Department of Health, and we will continue to focus on maintaining the highest standards of hygiene and food safety at all of our restaurants. We also wish to thank our Kona customers for their patience during the month-long closure and welcome them back to our renewed Kona Commons store.”
Hansen also noted that all of Genki’s restaurants in Hawaii passed their most recent health inspections.
That includes Genki Sushi’s Ala Moana Center restaurant, which closed for several hours on June 6 after a red “CLOSED” placard was issued due to a floor drain backing up. A yellow “CONDITIONAL PASS” placard, which allowed for the restaurant to reopen, was then issued after a refrigerator was not cold enough for safe storage of foods.
A follow-up inspection several days later at the Oahu establishment found the violations were corrected and a green “PASS” placard was posted.
The Hawaii Department of Health’s stoplight placard system, adopted in 2014, aims to alert consumers before entering an establishment whether it has met state food safety standards. Following an inspection, restaurants and other food establishments receive either a green “PASS”, yellow “CONDITIONAL PASS” or red “CLOSED” placard.