How Hawaii’s restaurants have fared after one year of the placard rating system

It’s been about a year since the Hawaii Department of Health started issuing placards to restaurants as part of its food safety program.

hawaii-restaurant-placardyellow*304xx1035-1553-83-0The color coded system gives everyone a clear look at just how safe a restaurant is.

A green card means it passed inspection. A yellow card means two or more major violations and a follow-up inspection is needed. And red means the place is shut down because of health risks.

One of the first restaurants to get a green placard was Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop in Chinatown.

“I feel the placard system makes restaurants feel accountable for their sanitation, their health issues, their kitchen, how they manage their food,” said Brian Chan, Scratch Kitchen & Bake Shop owner.

In the first year of the program, July 2014 – July 2015, health inspectors handed out 8,546 placards, amounting to about 84% of all food establishments in the state.

Of those placards given out, 6,744 received green ones, 1,802 received yellow, and no one got a red placard.

KHON2 asked health officials what the response has been from restaurants that received yellow placards.

“They understand what we’re doing. Before we started to roll out this program, we made a point to visit every single one of our 10,000 establishments to explain at length exactly what our inspectors would be looking for. So I think it’s not really much of a shock to them. They understand the idea to get the green placard is rapid corrections of the violations,” replied Department of Health Sanitation Branch manager Peter Oshiro.