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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 1, 2010

Peppa's Korean BBQ shut as Hawaii health department probes E. coli cases

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Peppa's Korean BBQ restaurant on South King Street was closed for "maintenance" today, according to a sign on the front door. The health department suspended the restaurant's permit as it investigates E. coli cases.

BRUCE ASATO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The Department of Health has suspended the permit for Peppa's Korean BBQ on King Street as it investigates seven cases of E.coli.

A Notice of Permit Suspension and Order to Cease and Desist was issued today against the food establishment on 1240 S. King St. in Honolulu.

Peppa's has agreed to temporarily close while extensive sanitation and training measures are taken. The seven cases were between March 2 and 23. Out of the seven people, six of them Oahu residents, four were hospitalized. Three of those people have since recovered.

While not all the confirmed cases reported eating at the food establishment, the health department said there was evidence of possible exposure that initiated an immediate inspection by DOH's sanitation staff. During the inspection, food-handling violations were observed.

Symptoms of E. coli O157 infection may include severe and/or bloody diarrhea with abdominal cramps. However, infected individuals may experience nonbloody diarrhea or have no symptoms. Typically self-limited, most persons recover without specific treatment in five to 10 days.

The health department said Peppa's has agreed to cooperate fully and will remain closed and work with the DOH on an intensive mitigation plan to correct permit violations. The restaurant's management will be required to attend the Sanitation Branch's Food Safety Certification Workshop to receive training on proper food-handling practices.