LIHUE — Genki Sushi announced today it has received approval from the Hawaii State Department of Health to reopen its restaurants after full compliance with the department’s strict conditions, including confirmation that none of its employees scheduled to work for the reopening tested positive for hepatitis A.
Genki Sushi will reopen all 10 of its restaurants on Oahu today. Genki’s only restaurant on Kauai will remain closed temporarily to complete renovations already underway.
“Serving safe, high-quality food is always our top priority and we deeply regret that the ongoing investigation by the Department of Health is indicating that customers may have become ill from a food product that our restaurants on Oahu and Kauai received from a distributor,” said Mary Hansen, chief administrative officer for Genki Sushi USA. “After being informed by the Department of Health of its decision to temporarily close some of our restaurants while it investigated the source of the illness, we worked cooperatively with health officials to take the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our customers, our employees and the community.”
DOH ordered the closure of Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai on Aug. 16 after determining a link between frozen scallops served raw at the facilities and cases of hepatitis A. The business immediately complied with the order and remained closed until it could meet all the health department requirements and ensure the safety of its customers and employees.
Genki has been communicating with DOH to determine what the company needed to do in order to eliminate any potential sources of the infection from its restaurants and meet specific requirements from the DOH to resume operations.
“The management team of Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai has given us their full cooperation, and the department is confident that they are in compliance with all health regulations,” said Dr. Virginia Pressler, director of the Hawaii Department of Health. “Genki Sushi has been cleared by the Department of Health to reopen to the public.”
While DOH directives only called for the disposal of opened containers or packages of food items that may have been exposed, Genki Sushi discarded all produce and food items that could have been exposed, and sanitized sealed food packages as specified by the DOH. In addition, all single-serve equipment or utensils such as napkins, chopsticks, cups and takeout containers were also discarded.
“Our entire staff has shown tremendous resiliency and teamwork in doing what was needed to reopen our restaurants so we can continue to serve our customers in the safest manner possible,” said Hansen. “It is very reassuring that none of our employees tested positive for the virus and we are happy that they can get back to work when the restaurants reopen. At the same time, our hearts go out to those who have the illness and hope for their speedy recovery.”