Health Department Issues Red Placard to Kīhei Restaurant Due to Alleged Roach Infestation

The Hawai‘i Department of Health Food Safety Branch issued a red “Closed” placard to Kīhei Bale Sandwich & Vietnamese Food in South Maui after a health inspector reportedly discovered a roach infestation in the kitchen on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020.

The restaurant, located at 225 Piʻikea Avenue, Suite 95, is currently closed. A follow-up inspection is scheduled for today, Tuesday, Nov. 10.

The Department of Health reports that an inspector visited the restaurant after receiving a complaint from a customer that reported finding a roach in crispy noodles purchased from the restaurant. The DOH reports that “the health inspector found 40 to 50 live roaches in the kitchen — including on disposable pans, food packages, prep chill units and cabinets. A small roach was also observed on vegetables in the prep chill unit.”

The restaurant must provide records of pest control treatments and significantly reduce or eliminate roach presence in the kitchen for the restaurant to be allowed to reopen. Additionally, areas of the kitchen need to be cleaned of food debris and grease, which serve as a source of food for roaches.

The DOH Food Safety Branch protects and promotes the health of Hawaii residents and visitors through education of food industry workers and regulation of food establishments state-wide. The branch conducts routine health inspections of food establishments where food products are prepared, manufactured, distributed, or sold.

The branch also investigates the sources of food borne illnesses and potential adulteration; and is charged with mitigating foodborne outbreaks and/or the prevention of future occurrences. Health inspectors work with business owners, food service workers, and the food industry to ensure safe food preparation practices and sanitary conditions.

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