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Public Health - Seattle & King County

What the food inspection terms we use mean

  • Caterer
    An establishment that either stands alone or is part of another food service establishment which, by prior arrangement, prepares food, provides transportation for the food and serves the food, or sets up a buffet for self-service.

  • Consultation/Education - Field
    An educational visit during which food service establishment staff and management are advised on the best practices to ensure food safety. Educational visits are not scored inspections.

  • Date
    The month, day, and year an inspection was performed.

  • Food Demonstrator
    A business serving without charge a sample or portion of food for the purpose of advertising or promoting the sale of their product. Products can be food or food preparation equipment.

  • Food Processor
    A food service establishment preparing or packaging food for consumption off the premises. An establishment with 12 or fewer seats will be classified as a food processor.

  • Grocery Store
    A food service establishment selling commercially prepackaged potentially hazardous foods requiring refrigeration or freezer control, whole produce, and/or bulk food for consumption off site.

  • Last Updated Date
    The month, day, and year the food inspection database was last updated. Information on the food inspection database is normally updated each business day.

  • Mobile Cart
    A cart with a limited menu serving only snow cones, hot dogs, or espresso beverages. Mobile Carts must be supplied from, cleaned, and maintained at a commissary or other fixed food establishment.

  • Restaurant
    A food service establishment that provides seating and serves food that may be consumed on the premises. If an establishment has 12 or fewer seats, it will be classified as a Food Processor.

  • Restricted Mobile Food Vehicle
    A food service vehicle that is limited to serving only prepackaged potentially hazardous foods without further food preparation, except microwave warming. Mobile Food Vehicles must be supplied from, cleaned, and maintained at a commissary or other fixed food establishment.

  • Retail Bakery
    A food service establishment preparing baked goods intended primarily for off-site consumption. If restroom facilities are provided, a retail bakery may provide seating for up to 12 customers.

  • Return Inspection
    A scored follow-up inspection performed within two weeks of a routine inspection that found a red critical violation. A return inspection is required after an establishment scores 45 or more points of red critical violations during a routine inspection. A return inspection may also be done at the discretion of the inspector.

  • Routine Inspection/Field Review
    A scored review of an establishment's food handling practices, equipment, and facility to assure food safety. Depending on the type of establishment, a minimum of one or two routine inspections are performed per year for each facility.

  • Score
    The total of violation points found during an inspection. A score of zero indicates that no violation was found during an inspection.

  • Snack Bar
    A food service establishment selling limited foods, such as prepackaged potentially hazardous foods, hot dogs and food requiring no further preparation. Food is consumed off site.

  • Tavern
    A food service establishment serving beer or wine only with a menu limited to exempt food items, prepackaged potentially hazardous foods, and hot dogs.

  • Unrestricted Mobile Food Vehicle
    A food service vehicle preparing or serving food that is not prepackaged. Mobile Food Vehicles must be supplied from, cleaned, and maintained at a commissary or other fixed food establishment.

  • Violation
    The presence of a risk factor for food borne disease. Inspections are based on regulations designed to eliminate the risk factors for food borne disease. Every violation of these regulations is color coded in red or blue and has a numerical value based on the amount of risk they create.
    • Red violations = Violations representing the highest risk of food borne disease.
    • Blue violations = Violations relating to the maintenance and cleanliness of the establishment.