Health department fines Koha Oriental Foods for operating without warehouse permit

The Hawaii State Department of Health Sanitation Branch has issued a Notice of Violation and Order to Koha Oriental Foods for operating a food storage warehouse facility without a state permit from November 2015 to August 2016.

The former Wilson Foods facility on Leokane St. in Waipahu had been used to store frozen seafood, among other products, for sale and distribution.

The company is ordered to pay an administrative penalty of $100,000 for the violation and may request a hearing to contest the order.

DOH discovered the food warehouse was operating without a permit in late August 2016 as part of its Hepatitis A outbreak investigation on Oahu. After becoming aware of the violation, Koha Oriental Foods immediately applied for and received a legal permit.

Food establishments in Hawaii that fail to obtain required state health department permits are subject to fines of up to $1,000 per day for each violation.

“Operating without a permit is a serious matter, and under state rules the company could have been fined nearly $300,000 for conducting business operations at the facility without a permit for almost a year,” said branch chief Peter Oshiro.

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