What is behind a restaurant's rating?
A restaurant's rating category is determined by two main components:
- Trend of food safety practices over time. Good food safety needs to be practiced every day. The food safety rating window signs will reflect how well a restaurant has performed over time, not just on a single inspection. A restaurant's food safety rating will be determined by the average score of unsafe food handling practices from a restaurant's last four routine inspections.
- Scale of performance. King County residents want to know more than if a restaurant passes or fails an inspection. The restaurant window signs will show how well the restaurant practices food safety beyond meeting the minimum standard.
When we implemented this system in 2017, the approximate breakdown of the percentage of restaurants that fall into each category was: 55% 'Excellent,' 36% 'Good' and 8% 'Okay.' The 'Needs to improve' category means the restaurant was either closed by Public Health within the last year or needed multiple return inspections to correct unsafe food handling practices. This category is not based on average scores.