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Sunday, August 19, 2012 - Page updated at 03:30 p.m.
How the Times used public data for coffee-shop analysis
By Melissa Allison and Justin Mayo
Seattle Times staff reporters
The Seattle Times analysis of coffee-shop records was done using publicly available health-inspection reports from Public Health — Seattle and King County.
Zero is a perfect health-inspection score, and a high number means serious violations — or numerous violations — were found.
The Times used records from January 2006 through June 2012 only for coffee-shop brands with at least two locations in King County and at least five routine inspections during that time.
Some chains include stores not owned by the same company. For example, a Starbucks store in a QFC grocery store is typically owned and run by QFC using guidelines issued by Starbucks, similar to a franchisee relationship.
Some chains with "coffee" in the name — for example, Cherry Street Coffee — or that roast their own coffee — Top Pot Doughnuts — are not included because they primarily sell something besides coffee. While that's also true of some individual stores within chains, the Times kept the chains intact and did not separate out individual shops.
Other chains — for example, Stumptown Coffee — recently changed owners and received a clean slate with the health department. It did not have enough inspections to be included.
Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @AllisonSeattle.
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