Street Eats, Safe Eats: Seattle
The King County Board of Health, which inspects all food establishments in Seattle for potential violations, provided inspection data for 2009 through July 2012. In that time, the board conducted 34,122 inspections of Seattle food establishments, including mobile vendors, restaurants and hotels. The board uses mobile food service as a classification and does not separate trucks from carts, so they were analyzed together.
Table 11 displays the average number of violations by establishment type.16 As the table shows, Seattle’s mobile vendors outperformed restaurants, as vendors averaged 13.6 total violations and restaurants 16.9.
However, these differences disappeared under statistical analysis, as shown in Table 12. Results show that the difference between Seattle’s mobile vendors and restaurants was not statistically significant, meaning that mobile vendors and restaurants performed essentially the same.
It is worth noting that Seattle’s higher levels of violations, compared to other cities, likely result from an inspection regime that counts each violation based on the severity. For example a non-critical violation may count as two, whereas a critical violation may count as 15.
Table 11: Seattle Food-safety Violations by Establishment Type, 2009-July 2012*
|Average (Mean) Violations||Standard Deviation||Minimum||Maximum|
Table 12: Estimated Differences in Food-safety Violations, Seattle,
2009-July 2012 (Statistically Significant Results in Italics)*
| Average Violations Compared
to Mobile Vendors
| Rate of Violations Compared
to Mobile Vendors
|Restaurants||1.51 fewer||9% fewer|
|Hotels||6.89 fewer||60% fewer|
16 The number of violations here is actually the number of reported demerits, where more severe violations receive more demerits.
|<<Return to Street Eats, Safe Eats main page||Washington, D.C.>>|