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Governor OKs increase in funds for food inspections

A new law signed by Gov. Linda Lingle will help the state’s beleaguered food safety inspection program.

The measure, HB 2688, allows money in a state environmental health education fund to be used for sanitation programs and activities, including monitoring Hawaiis restaurants and food establishments.

The reliability of the state’s food safety inspections came under scrutiny last year after an online video showed rats crawling out from under tarps and over produce at a Chinatown market.

At the time, the state employed just nine health inspectors on Oahu to handle nearly 6,000 markets and restaurants.

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