DOH shutters 5th restaurant in Atu'u
Inspectors from the Department of Health's Environmental Services Division shut down the Pinokio Fast Food Restaurant on the main road in Atu'u earlier this week.
This is the fifth restaurant DOH has closed down in Atu'u in the past week. The notice on the window of the eatery states that DOH closed down the establishment as of Tuesday, August 27. There is no re-open date listed on the notice but Samoa News understands the owner of the restaurant has been given one week to get everything up to par before a follow up inspection is conducted and at that time, determination will be made as to whether or not the business can be re-opened.
Pinokio is frequented by cannery workers and government employees who often stop by for a quick bite. The eatery offers a selection of Samoan and Asian dishes served on styrofoam plates and charged by the scoop.
The business started off as a kitchen offering food items sold out of a small window but expanded earlier this year to include a mini grocery store. The DOH notice is posted on both the restaurant window as well as the main entrance to the grocery store.
Last week, DOH inspectors shut down the row of four restaurants facing the StarKist Samoa main office building due to unsanitary conditions. Since then, the businesses have been closed to the public.
Two of the four restaurants in question are owned by Samoans while the other two are owned by Asians. The latter have been seen cleaning up and painting their restaurants and area, but no activity has been seen at the other two restaurants.
In an initial interview with the Samoa News, head of the DOH inspectors Papalii Marion Fitisemanu said they will be conducting random inspections of restaurants all over the island and their goal is to ensure the food being sold to the public for consumption is safe and conditions in the kitchen where the food is being prepared are up to standard.
He said not only do they inspect the kitchen area, they also check for things like ventilation and proper plumbing, electrical panel box area, as well as the immediate surroundings to include the area where people sit down to eat.