How many restaurants have a food safety rating? 300 and counting!

It has been two weeks since we launched the Food Safety Rating System. Have you seen the new restaurant window signs? If you haven’t, you will soon. The new system is rolling out across King County in four phases throughout 2017. We divided King County into four geographic areas. When a new phase of the roll out starts (in January, April, July and October), restaurants in that new area will start getting window signs as they are routinely inspected.

Why a phased roll out?

It is important that the rating system is meaningful and meets King County residents’ needs. The phased roll out helps us conduct an evaluation of the system as we go to make sure we are doing just that. The evaluation is ongoing and will look at impacts on public health such as changes in food safety practices and food borne illness.

We gathered community and stakeholder feedback throughout the development of the rating system and we always welcome more. Please feel free to provide feedback or ask questions by contacting

How were the geographic areas chosen? 

Food Inspector Ann Jackson filling out an “Excellent” sign at Elliott Bay Brewing in Lake City.

The geographic areas in each phase of the roll out were chosen to allow us to effectively evaluate the rating system for its impact on food borne illness and then to balance factors including how many people are in each area and how many restaurants are in each area.

Some areas of King County have more restaurants than other areas. Because of these criteria, the four geographic areas in the phased roll out are not the same size and they do not include the same number of zip codes.

Zip codes in each phase of the roll out

Check out the list of zip codes below in each phase of the roll out to see when your favorite restaurant is getting its window sign. Remember, restaurants won’t necessarily receive their window sign as soon as their phase starts. The start of a new phase of the roll out just means the restaurants in that area will receive their window sign as soon as they have their next routine inspection. Because King County has over 12,000 restaurants and only 45 Food Inspectors, some restaurants won’t receive their sign until later in the year.

Phase one – January, 2017 –Restaurants in this area will receive window signs starting in January. Orange area on map.

98101, 98102, 98103, 98104, 98105, 98107, 98109, 98111, 98112, 98113, 98114, 98115, 98117, 98119, 98121, 98122, 98125, 98133, 98139, 98145, 98154, 98155, 98164, 98177, 98195 and 98199.

A map of King County showing the four phases of the new Food Safety Rating System roll out.

Phase two – April, 2017-Restaurants in this area will receive window signs starting in April. Purple area on map.

98004, 98005, 98006, 98007, 98008, 98009, 98015, 98039, 98040, 98055, 98056, 98057, 98058, 98059, 98070, 98106, 98108, 98116, 98118, 98124, 98126, 98134, 98136, 98144, 98146, 98168 and 98178.

Phase three – July, 2017 –Restaurants in this area will receive window signs starting in July. Green area on map.

98010, 98011, 98014, 98019, 98022, 98024, 98025, 98027, 98028, 98029, 98030, 98031, 98032, 98033, 98034, 98035, 98038, 98041, 98042, 98045, 98050, 98051, 98052, 98053, 98064, 98065, 98072, 98073, 98074, 98075, 98077, 98083, 98089, 98224, 98288.

Phase four – October, 2017 –Restaurants in this area will receive window signs starting in October. Blue area on map.

98001, 98002, 98003, 98023, 98047, 98063, 98092, 98093, 98138, 98148, 98158, 98166, 98188, 98198, 98354, 98422.

Are all food establishments included in the rating system?

As of now, food establishments with what we call a General Food Service permit are included in the rating system. This includes restaurants large and small, coffee shops, bars and even the delis inside large grocery stores.

Eventually, other permitted food businesses will be included too. Once the rating system is well underway, we’ll include food trucks, caterers, and the like. We will let you know when that time comes!

Originally posted on February 2, 2017