County warns restaurant operators to check identification of health inspectors
Sacramento, CA Sacramento County Environmental Management Department (EMD) is alerting restaurant operators and others in the food facility industry about fraudulent activity involving an individual or individuals contacting food establishments claiming to be a health inspector.
EMD has received complaints that an individual using various names is contacting local food businesses by phone posing as a health inspector and stating an inspection is scheduled, usually for the next day. The operator is then given a phone number to call to verify the inspection, and in some cases a confirmation number is also given. However, there is no such inspection and the inspector imposter never arrives.
John Rogers, Environmental Health Chief, said he is aware that other California counties and states have been targeted by similar scams. Its unclear how the scam works or if the imposter is attempting to get personal information from the operator for other fraudulent schemes. We urge owners and operators to contact our office if they have any doubt about the identity of a person claiming to be a health inspector, said Rogers.
Food facility health inspections are generally unannounced and conducted by certified and trained Registered Environmental Health Specialists. Inspectors do not collect money at food establishments and do not sell or endorse specific products. State law also requires inspectors to carry official photo identification. An owner or employee of the food establishment may refuse entry to an inspector who is unable to present official identification.
To report possible fraudulent activity or ask about other issues related to health inspections, contact the Environmental Management Department at (916) 875-8440.