Woman suing CD Ethiopian restaurant and pushing for restaurant grading system

Seattle resident Sarah Schaht is suing Central District restaurant Ambassel Ethiopian after she contracted a debilitating E coli bacteria infection. Schaht is now crusading for a simpler grading system and to make public the grades King County health officials assign restaurants based on their latest health inspection.

As KIRO reports, “Schaht chose the Ethiopian restaurant because customers on Yelp gave it nearly four stars.  What she didn’t know was the restaurant had failed six health inspections since 2010 and had one of the worst inspection scores of any Seattle restaurant last year.” Workers were flagged for not washing their hands. Insects and rodents were spotted in the restaurant, and raw meat was being prepared on the same surfaces as cooked food. Health officials shut down Ambassel, though the owners have reopened as Laco Melza, which doesn’t yet have any Yelp reviews.

As a result of Schaht’s efforts, Seattle and King County public health officials are asking for input on their inspection system, which you can provide online.

More from KIRO:

Schaht has started a petition to pressure King County health officials to adopt a simple letter grade system, in which restaurants are required to post an A, B, C or F grade in their front window so diners know how the establishment performed on its latest inspection. Cities in nine states have letter grade requirements, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City. After going to the letter grade system in 2010, New York City’s Department of Health reported a 14 percent decline in salmonella cases in the first 18 months.

In L.A. County there’s been a 20 percent drop in the number of people hospitalized with food-related illnesses.

You can sign Sarah Schaht’s online petition, and learn more about how other restaurants fared in their latest inspections.

4 thoughts on “Woman suing CD Ethiopian restaurant and pushing for restaurant grading system

  1. I greatly appreciate Sarah’s efforts on this. Health department inspections results are not clear. I see alot of restaurants that my friends say are great. My eye is often drawn to the poor housekeeping and stinky back alley as we walk up. And just out walking the dog I see stuff that turns me away. Such as the Peruvian chicken place that everyone raves about. My dog pointed out rats clambering all over the back alley mess behind the restaurant. I wont eat there or from there regardless of the raves.

    Restaurant ownership is tough business but there is no excuse for bringing rat infested establishments and diseased foods into our community. Dept of Health needs to be very clear about the rat infested conditions of our restaurants. And restaurants that deliberately continue to cause disease need to be sued and shut down, and owners forbidden from openning new restaurants or working in the industry.

  2. Ya I’ve looked at that site regarding restaurant near our house that I was legitimately afraid of. The report s seem to show a very weak process of dealing with multiple and repeated serious threats to health. Lotsof restaurant owners need far harsher treatment to address bad behavior. Some of them threaten our homes by prompting rat infestation. We need publicized action, posted in site, and removal of bad owners.

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