Here's why.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that nearly 48 million suffers from a foodborne illness in the United States annually, nearly 128 thousand of which are hospitalized.[1]

Foodborne illness can be caused from a number of issues including improper handling, improper cooking and/or improper storing.[2]

Bacteria multiply rapidly between 40 °F (approximately 4.44 °C) and 140 °F (60 °C).[2] Because Hawaii is warm year-round -- all perishable food should never be left at room temperature. Period.

Some restaurants in Hawaii are notorious for selling food that are left at room temperature for hours.

Twitter member @KaarinG spotted a Hilo restaurant selling bentos (a single-portion takeout) and musubis (generally luncheon meat on top of rice wrapped with dried seaweed) at room temperature during a upper 20s Celsius (or mid 80s Fahrenheit) day.

bento-01

I can clearly see chicken, egg, fish cake, hot dogs, luncheon meat and tuna in those meals. All of which are perishable.

I suggest that everyone studies food safety on the CDC's website. They offer a comprehensive guide to preventing, diagnosing and treating foodborne illness.

Sources:

  1. CDC.gov | CDC Estimates of Foodborne Illness in the United States | Retrieved May 3, 2014

  2. USDA.gov | Foodborne Illness: What Consumers Need to Know | Retrieved May 3, 2014

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