Sep 11, 2014

Hawaii is in the DANGER ZONE! People Are Getting Sick From Poorly Handled Food.

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Yesterday I read an article in Moloka'i's only newspaper, the Moloka'i Dispatch. The title of the front page story was "New Rules for Food Businesses" You can read it for yourself by clicking here. I wrote about this same issue a couple of years ago here on this blog. You can refresh your memory by clicking here.

If you have read both stories, then you must realize that food poisoning is a big problem here in Hawaii, and on Moloka'i. The State of Hawaii now has stricter rules in place for restaurants and grocery stores, but it shouldn't stop there. After living on Moloka'i for 12 years I have witnessed many food handling problems at local luaus, potluck lunches and dinners, church functions, in local restaurants and grocery stores. If you live here then hopefully you know what I am talking about. Not washing your hands before preparing food, and especially not leaving food out of refrigeration is a no no, especially here in the tropics where temperatures often reach 90˚ in the summer. The bottom line is that you want to protect your family and friends from food poisoning.

The one thing I didn't agree with that Cathleen Sakamoto, (Department of Health (DOH) Inspector for Moloka'i), said in the Dispatch article was the Health Departments "four-hour rule" which is the amount of time food can sit out unrefrigerated, the amount of time after which certain foods should be discarded. This should actually be the "two-hour rule" not 4. You can check this website on the second page, for conformation of what I am saying. It says "Foods can pick up bacteria at the store or in the kitchen. This usually happens when food that needs to be kept cold is left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours."

Also if the outside temperature is 90˚ or more it should go down to the "one-hour-rule". Please check the Tasting Hawaii website that you are now on, on the left hand side of the front page "Guidelines for cooking safely" where you will see a list of helpful food safety information, or visit this website for more information on "Refrigerated storage of perishable foods", and stay safe, life is short enough.

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