Ala Moana outlines tough measures against pests
What is going on at the Makai Market Food Court at Ala Moana Center with rats running around during open hours in public? I contacted the mall office, but they didn't seem too concerned. Can you please look into that?
Answer: Any time you see rats in or around food establishments, you can report them directly to the state Department of Health's Sanitation Branch. Call 586-8000.
If it's not under that branch's purview, it will forward the complaint to the Health Department's Vector Control Branch.
Your observation that mall officials didn't appear concerned about the problem is contrary to the Health Department's experience, as well as actions Ala Moana Center officials say they have taken.
"We have always worked closely with our pest control company as well as the Health Department to ensure that we uphold the highest health standards for our customers and merchants," said Dwight Yoshimura, senior vice president of General Growth Properties, which owns the center.
He said all food establishments in Hawaii have their share of challenges, but that Ala Moana Center has an "aggressive program in place to address and control all pests."
Because of the age and construction of the center, which has a mostly "crushed coral" foundation, "it would be nearly impossible to completely rid the center of rodents," said Peter Oshiro, supervisor of the Sanitation Branch's Plan Review and Standards Office.
But both the shopping center management, as well as all food service establishments there, have worked with branch inspectors to control the rodent population, he said.
"Through the past few years, the shopping center and the food establishments have taken extraordinary measures to prevent the contamination of food products and food contact surfaces within their respective establishments," he said.
Among the steps taken, Oshiro said:
» To prevent rodents from entering their establishments, all walls and partitions "are meticulously checked by the establishments, pest control operators and our registered sanitarians."
» For the past few years, all new food establishments and renovations of existing food establishments have been required to install stainless steel mesh and 20-gauge stainless steel sheeting in all interior and exterior walls to prevent rats and other vermin from entering.
» All food establishments are required to store all food products that are not in bottles or cans in airtight, vermin-proof containers, or in their refrigerators/freezers.
Q: Whom do I call to report contractors dumping their trash? Someone dumped paint buckets and lumber on the grassy area along Kahekili Highway, cross street Ahaolelo Road, in Kahaluu.
A: Call the city's environmental concern line at 692-5656. If you see someone in the act of illegal dumping, call police immediately at 911.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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