In its first virtual inspection of a food establishment, the Department of Health’s Food Safety Branch passed the Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurant opening in Hawaii Kai.
The 40-minute inspection was conducted by a food inspector from the DOH’s Halawa facility via a video call. Managers walk the inspectors through the restaurant during the inspection.
“During this time, we’re staying in touch with local restaurants and businesses by utilizing technology through email and phone to protect our community’s health and safety,” said Food Safety Branch Chief Peter Oshiro in a news release . “This interim virtual inspection process with Raising Cane’s is one innovation to help Hawaii restaurants open doors, create jobs to stimulate the economy and keep moving forward.”
A checklist is provided to restaurant operators detailing what is required, such as washing stations for utensils and equipment and thermometers that can check the temperatures of food, hot water and refrigerators.
The virtual inspections are a product of the statewide emergency orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic and are only for pre-openings of new restaurants. An in-person follow-up inspection will be conducted within 30 days after Gov. David Ige lifts the emergency proclamation, the DOH said.
“We appreciate the Department’s innovative and timely use of technology to complete the process to safely open our Hawaii Kai drive-thru, allowing Raising Cane’s to bring new jobs to the area,” said Raising Cane’s Area Operations Manager, Ray Yeung, in the news release. “The Food Safety Branch provided a clear and thorough procedure which we were able to comply completely with and we look forward to working with them in-person when the state fully reopens businesses.”
The restaurant — Hawaii’s second Raising Cane’s — will be operating via drive-thru only. Restaurants around the state are limited to drive-thru only because of the pandemic.