State slower to move than counties on publicly posted ‘report cards’ for restaurants

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Iconic New York Landmark Tavern On The Green Restaurant Reopens

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SEATTLE — Since the beginning of April, Q13FOX News Investigates has learned the King County inspectors shut down half a dozen restaurants  for critical health violations that could make people sick.

At the same time an effort to require restaurant report cards be publicly posted on eateries doesn’t seem to be gaining traction statewide as it is in King County.

Some customers said they were glad health inspectors shut down the Pho Cyclo Cafe on Dexter recently.

Eli Young said, “It’s nice to know that while I am on the job site, I can go to a safe place to get a meal and not worry about am I not going to make it through the work day. Am I going to get sick.”

One restaurant that was shut down in May had several critical health violations. A health inspection report from Sun Ya restaurant in Seattle showed that employees were not washing their hands. Employees would then handle ready to eat food without wearing gloves. Raw meat was stored next to ready to eat foods. Hot foods were not kept hot enough possibly allowing harmful bacteria to grow. Documents show inspectors found excessive amounts of rat droppings on the floor and storage shelves and also found nesting holes in the walls.

After fixing those mistakes, the restaurant is now back open and the parking lot is often packed.

Many customers admit they do not know this information from recent health inspections.

This isn’t the first time Sun Ya has been in trouble. The popular restaurant in the International District has a history of failing health inspections and has been dealing with an insect and rodent problem for several years.

King County is exploring the idea of restaurant report cards on the store front of windows. Those cards would display past performance on restaurant inspections.

We asked a state lawmaker if this could be a statewide initiative and it does not sound likely.

Rep. Reuven Carlyle said, “I think it makes a lot of sense to experiment. It makes a lot of sense to innovate. You’ll see the marketplace of applications and ideas and feedback people get about restaurants if it’s really open and accessible. But, after we’ve learned about it, then I think we ask the question if it makes sense to go statewide.”

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