Public Health for Seattle-King County ended January with two restaurant closures continuing into February.

The most recent closure occurred Jan. 29 when a public health inspector shut down the restaurant, Zita Only at 1928 Commons Mall, #3, in Federal Way, WA.

Zita Only was ordered closed because of the imminent health hazard of no available hot water. The inspector must confirm hot water is restored before the restaurant may reopen.

Dirty Dog, a mobile food vendor, also remains closed. Public health shut it down at Jan. 18 at 1700 1st Ave. S in Seattle. The Dirty Dog had to close because it lacked hot water for the handwashing sink; lacked handwashing facilities, its food worker card was expired, and its temperature control equipment was inadequate.

Public Health may order the immediate closure of foodservice establishments within its Seattle-King County jurisdiction for any of the following reasons:

  • A high score on the routine inspection
  • Sewage backing up in the kitchen and/or bathroom
  • No hot water/running water
  • Electricity goes out
  • Other imminent health hazards: broken refrigeration, damage caused by accidents or natural disasters, or when the establishment is linked to a foodborne illness outbreak
  • Other: No permit to be operating (The permit assures that they have met all of the structural & equipment requirements for the menu items they are going to serve); the owner/manager interferes with the inspector’s ability to do her/his duties.

Public health inspections are based on a 400 point system. The violations are added up between red and blue violations. If the total red or critical violations is 90 or more, or the total of red and blue is 120 or more, then the establishment will be closed.

Seattle-King County’s Public Health is one of the largest metropolitan health departments in the United States.  With 1,400 employees, 40 sites, and a biennial budget of $686 million, Public Health serves a resident population of 2.2 million people.  Over 100 languages are spoken in the area, which also welcomes 40 million visitors annually.

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