Molokai's iconic Kanemitsu Bakery is back in business, ending a five-month closure stemming from state Department of Health violations.
The Health Department reinstated the 75-year-old Kaunakakai bakery's permit last month, according to spokeswoman Janice Okubo.
Bakery owner George Kanemitsu previously told The Maui News that the closure had been difficult on the family business, which makes the famed "Molokai bread."
"We're talking about a lot of revenue," he said, noting that the bakery had been forced to lay off nine workers during the shutdown.
He even was considering shutting down the business following a failed Health Department inspection in September.
Kanemitsu could not be reached for comment this week, and a bakery manager did not return calls seeking comment.
Department of Health officials in June had ordered the bakery to suspend operations for the second time in four months due to unsanitary conditions and had levied a $90,000 fine in March for "serious deficiencies in maintenance and manufacturing practices."
The June inspection was prompted by an anonymous complaint that insects and foreign substances allegedly were found in bread rolls bought at the bakery.
Kanemitsu made improvements and requested a September inspection, but at that time the Health Department said the bakery failed to address all of the June violations.
The bakery's permit was reinstated after it passed a Nov. 16 inspection.
The Health Department says the business still needs to address a few remaining violations.
"There are still two outstanding issues noted in (the department's) list of items for the bakery to correct: The floor has not been rendered completely smooth (although it has been painted), and the building does not meet the ventilation requirements required by our rules," Gary Gill, deputy director for Environmental Health Administration, said in an email.
"Our program has allowed the bakery to open even though these issues have not been completely resolved. We will continue to work with the bakery on these issues over time," he wrote. "We are satisfied that with proper maintenance and food safety practices performed by the owner and staff, the bakery can now continue its operations in conformance with state law."