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Friday, February 22, 2008

State Preempts King County Restaurant Guidelines

posted by on February 22 at 17:26 PM

Last Thursday, I Slogged about a bill that would preempt new King County health regulations that are set to go in place in August.

Both the state rules and the KC rules would require fast food chains to post nutritional info about all items on the menu. However, the state rules are weaker than King County’s. KC rules would require the information to be at the point of sale; the state rules would just require that they be “prominently displayed.” And most important, KC’s rules would apply to more restaurants—about 1,400 more individual restaurants. (King County’s rules apply to restaurant chains with 10 stores or more. The state rules apply to restaurant chains with 25 stores or more.)

A bitter dispute over the bill between KC health regulators and the Washington Restaurant Association, which wanted the weaker state bill to apply (and preempt the county rule), ended up tabling the bill.

Substitute legislation calls for a study. The substitute legislation also puts the KC rules on hold until the state comes up with new legislation after the study.

King County Health spokesman James Apa says the state shouldn’t be able to prevent local jurisdictions from implementing local standards and says they strongly oppose the substitute legislation.

RSS icon Comments


Sigh, guess we'll all die of food poisoning now.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 22, 2008 5:33 PM

As long as it doesn't tell me the truth about a Dick's Deluxe and does tell me the truth about a Chipotle chicken burrito (1100+ calories), I'm fine.

Posted by Jessica | February 22, 2008 5:41 PM

yes the nanny state expands - how about some mass transit as a priority for King County govt.?

Posted by John | February 22, 2008 6:41 PM

Why should legislative bodies that both have regulatory control over restaurants be able to lower the standard that would be put in place? shouldn't the higher standard control?

Posted by vooodooo84 | February 22, 2008 7:29 PM

state always trumps county

old concept, from bacck when

Posted by Victor Victoria Victrola | February 22, 2008 7:43 PM

While I agree with the notion that the stricter rule is probably a better one, I also think it is better to go with a single statewide regulation, rather than piecemeal county-by-county regulations. Particularly in view of the fact that this rule is directed toward chain restaurants, and not small individual restaurants. Imagine a chain of restaurants trying to follow differing regulations for 40 different counties, rather than one statewide regulation for all of them. A management nightmare, regardless of the intent of the regulation.

The county is better off trying to persuade the state to enact a stricter guideline for the state, rather than argue over who has jurisdiction and who's rules should apply.

Posted by Reverse Polarity | February 22, 2008 8:16 PM

you think this is bad...public health seattle/king county is also trying to ban trans fats

Posted by Jiberish | February 22, 2008 9:21 PM

Ah, so it's the trans fat lobby ... wonder who they gave money to ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 22, 2008 10:30 PM

just about every chain has ALREADY quit using trans fat, just as every adult I know has quit eating red meat, or chooses very lean beef, smaller portions, and only several times a month

common sense of the informed public does prevail

so does pricing, beef is sky high except for the sale

Posted by Victor | February 23, 2008 1:47 AM

Hey KC--Take a page out of the States book--when the EPA said ONLY the EPA could regulate emission standards on cars, WA decided to sue. So sue them!

Posted by mattro2.0 | February 23, 2008 8:16 AM

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