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Food vendor's permit pulled

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The Department of Public Health has revoked the sanitary permit of the vendor that provides food to thousands of the island's elderly. According to Public Health director James Gillan, Li Quan Corporation was stripped of their permit this morning.  

Li Quan Corporation caters to thousands of the island's man'amko, but also hundreds of the island's prisoners. Said Gillan, "Since November, major meal providers were notified they had to develop these plans if they were serving susceptible populations." Susceptible populations like senior citizens. According to Gillan, the food vendor caters meals for the island's man'amko - that's 1,900 meals five days a week via the senior citizens centers and home delivery services.  

"When you're dealing with susceptible populations like again people in nursing facilities and hospitals and senior citizens, you have to have a plan very specific to how the food moves through the system. How it's cooled, how it's heated, how it's stored," he explained.

As of today, Li Quan's contract was scrapped when Public Health pulled their sanitary permit as a result of failing to come into compliance with the new Guam Food Code, specifically the requirement for a hazard analysis critical control point plan. "Li Quan or Basil, was not able to meet this. Every time we went to make an evaluation, not having that certified plan in place was another demerit in their status. The last time they were at a C-rating. Today when our staff went in because again they did not have the certified plan, they automatically went to a D. That effectively closes them," said Gillan.

Although Li Quan's permit was revoked it was only for its Anigua kitchen, it doesn't affect the food contract for the Department of Corrections. But KUAM News learned there was confusion because emergency procurement was already effectuated to provide food to the Mangilao prison and Hagatna Detention Facility.

According to Global Food Services Group vice president of operations Clifford Guzman, GFS will be serving dinner tonight - up to 750 meals which will be prepared out of Ruby Tuesdays and Kings Restaurants kitchens. Guzman states GFS was requested under emergency procurement through the General Services Agency to do so temporarily while GSA secures a long-term vendor.

KUAM News however has learned that might not be necessary now, because Li Quan's permit was only revoked for its Anigua facility and does not apply to DepCor. According to DepCor deputy director Carla Borja, this means inmates and detainees will be served two meals tonight. Gillan in the meantime says he doesn't know who'll be contracted as an emergency vendor for the island's senior citizens tomorrow. "Our challenge is we cannot afford for our seniors to go without their meals, especially those receiving homebound delivered meals," he said.

This wouldn't be the first time Li Quan Corporation has made the news. In fact, complaints from prisoners were heard at the District Court relative to the quality, quantity, and timeliness when it comes to serving meals resulting in extreme weight loss and health issues.

Additionally, in February the vendor was in danger of having its sanitary permit pulled for non-compliance. As a result, man'amko were served canned kidney beans and tuna, crackers and cut beans.

Prior to that in January, this same vendor had delivered hundreds of suspected spoiled meals to the Department of Corrections.

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