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Photo via Flickr/Suzi Pratt at Linda's Tavern
Photo via Flickr/Suzi Pratt at Linda’s Tavern

Soon you will know just how safe that truck taco is, thanks in large part to a campaign by Seattlelite Sarah Schacht.

Schacht started the campaign last year because of two serious bouts with food poisoning at area restaurants. Her efforts have proved successful: King County announced this week that it will begin posting food and health safety ratings for all to see. The new rating system will affect approximately 12,000 restaurants and food trucks in the area, starting in late 2015, according to the Seattle Times.

Schacht’s campaign for more transparency was also spurred by how difficult it was to find an establishment’s rating through King County’s existing health department site. Her petition called it a “convoluted inspection ratings system that confuses consumers.” More than 2,000 people agreed and signed her petition for clearer signs to be posted at restaurant locations.

Rating restaurants is already status quo in other major cities, like New York and Los Angeles. Now Seattle will join the ranks of this handy system, which lets customers get a good look at how clean a joint is before they enter.

And while we don’t know what the placards will look like yet, a group of University of Washington students are testing potential designs, which they plan to publish in a report and share with King County officials around the end of January, Schacht says.

“Hopefully this research will help King County decide on which placards work best for consumers and that it complements the research they’re doing as well,” she says.

The placards might differentiate from the traditional “A,B,C” ratings systems other cities have adopted. Schacht says that those are somewhat contentious within the restaurant community and can be confusing to an international audience unfamiliar with the American letter-grading system.

The crowdfunding campaign closed on Wednesday, raising about $850 toward their goal. Those interested in the project or donating can contact Schacht directly through her Twitter account.

Check out Schacht’s video, “I Got E. Coli So You Don’t Have To” below:

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