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New food establishment closure page is now live

June 20, 2017

Local diners now have one-stop resource to learn which restaurants are in a time out

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s new food establishment closure page makes it easier for diners to know who’s not open for business because of food safety violations. Residents and visitors can subscribe to alerts.

TACOMA, Wash. – Now, with a click of a mouse, Pierce County’s dining public can look up food service establishments that are closed because of food safety violations. People can sign up to receive an email alert whenever a food service establishment is added to the list.

The new page is www.tpchd.org/foodclosures. People can sign up for food closure email alerts and other health alerts at www.tpchd.org/email.php.

“Our priority is the safety of those who eat in Pierce County,” said Katie Lott, food and community safety program manager. “We want to support our businesses in serving safe food while providing the public timely information concerning food service establishments.”

The Department will list the most recent closures at the top of the page. The status shows if a restaurant is closed, or was closed and is now reopened. The information will remain listed on the page for seven days after the restaurant is re-opened.

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department temporarily closes food service establishments for 24-hours or more when the business has not corrected repeated food safety violations or an imminent health risk exists.

Reasons for immediate closure of a food service establishment include imminent health hazards such as:

  • Fire.
  • Flood.
  • Extended interruption of electrical or water service.
  • Sewage backup.
  • Misuse of poisonous or toxic chemicals.
  • Onset of an apparent foodborne disease outbreak.
  • Gross insanitary occurrence or condition.
  • Lack of refrigeration.

And, other circumstances that might endanger public health, include:

  • Repeated high score on routine inspection (100 or more red points*).
  • Repeated occurrence of critical violation(s).
  • No operating permit. (The permit assures that they have met all of the structural and equipment requirements to support a menu.
  • The owner/manager interferes with the inspector's ability to do her/his duties.

The Health Department has made food service inspection reports available on its website for more than 10 years. Visitors can look up inspection reports of any permitted food service establishment at www.tpchd.org/foodinspectionreports. This recent improvement of the new webpage aggregates closure information in one place. It also links directly to a food service establishment’s two-year inspection history. Inspection histories are available on any permitted food service establishments.

In addition to the online list of closed food service establishments, the Department will also post signs on food service establishments the Health Department closes because of food safety violations.

The Health Department’s Food Program received input from its Food Advisory Board and Board of Health on these recent additions to its operating procedures.

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. We are one of only 163 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at www.tpchd.org.

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