October 21, 2012

Washington Public School Cafeteria Inspections

Jody Lawrence-Turner, Ryan Pitts and Mike Tigas

Only 15 of Washington’s 37 county health districts offer access to K-12 school cafeteria inspection reports online, and there is no state database offered by Washington’s health department, making information about more than half the state’s school kitchens difficult to access.

The Spokesman-Review, through public records requests, has created an archive containing three years of reports from every school district in the state – more than 4,500 pages.

Inspections for each school in Spokane, Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties and every high school in the remaining counties, including the high-population King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, are available in the database.

We sorted through every report to find out what was happening in lunchroom kitchens across the state.

As we went through the inspection reports, we highlighted every violation receiving five or more penalty points; the higher the points, the more potentially hazardous the problem. The database, using DocumentCloud, is searchable by keyword or by location.


You can search and view the inspection reports below. The documents are been grouped by county and have been tagged with a number of code violations that Spokesman-Review discovered during this investigation. (Note that some counties belong to a multi-county health district; in these cases, the counties have been combined into one record.)

Click on violations below to show counties with districts cited for the violation. Click on a county to read the full food inspection reports with Spokesman-Review annotations.


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All Counties: