• King County restaurant ratings rollout next week

    By: Alison Grande


    Soon you will know how well a restaurant performed on its health inspection by the emoji sign in the window.

    Public Health Seattle and King County will roll out it restaurant rating program on Tuesday, January 17. The first phase of the food safety ratings program starts in North Seattle, Shoreline, and Lake Forest Park.

    A restaurant's rating is based on three main components: trend of food safety practices over time, scale of performance and rating on a curve, according to the health department.

    The restaurants will be inspected as usual and then placards will be issued. Restaurants will be required to post the rating.

    Restaurants have been notified of the new rating program. Many stakeholders have been involved in the process.

    Peter Coulter is the corporate executive chef for Schwartz Brothers Restaurants. He’s been to many meetings with the health department during the development of the rating program.

    "They've done a very good job about evaluating the system," Coulter said. "They've gone through the consulting, I feel. They've been open about everything. They've discussed everything. They've listened to everyone's feedback." 

    He said there's some fear associated with the new program, but said having some fear prevents mistakes. 

    "It's transparency at this point. It's like 'Hey team, look, your grade is going to be on the front as good as being on TV'. It's a major component to our branding. We want to have the best scores on every one of our doors. So it's going to take us up a level," Coulter said.  
    Public Health Seattle and King County inspects every restaurant twice a year. Coulter plans to hire a food safety consultant to inspect every Schwartz Brothers twice a year, using the same guidelines as the health department.
    Public Health Seattle and King County will reveal the placard design on Tuesday when they kick off the new Food Safety Rating Program.

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