ADPH warns food establishments of inspection scam

Published 11:02 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Alabama Department of Public Health is warning food establishments to be on the alert for an inspection scam. Several county health departments have been contacted by food service establishments concerning individuals claiming to be health inspectors.

The scam involves a call from a person who says he or she is from the health department and who demands the store make an appointment for a health inspection. The caller may also ask for personal information as an apparent identity theft attempt.

ADPH does not make appointments for routine inspections or request personal information over the telephone. An inspector from the health department will have a photo identification badge. If a store manager is not certain about the legitimacy of the credentials, he or she should contact the local county health department for verification.

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Similar scams have been reported in other parts of the nation concerning individuals posing as health inspectors appearing at an establishment, fining the business, and trying to collect cash from the proprietor.

Businesses should contact local law enforcement officials if they suspect a fraudulent purpose behind a phone contact or visit from someone claiming to be a health inspector without proper identification.