Health Department Warns of Restaurant Inspection Scam

For Immediate Release:  June 25, 2010
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health is advising restaurant owners to be wary of fake state food inspectors who threaten to impose fines if the restaurant does not book an appointment for an inspection.

The Health Department conducts routine inspections unannounced and does not call to schedule appointments. 

“Anyone who calls and threatens an enforcement action or fine and asks for confidential information over the phone is not representing the Vermont Department of Health,” said Chief Sanitarian Al Burns. “We also have proper photo identification and would never ask you to provide sensitive or confidential information over the phone.”

Similar scams are reportedly targeting food establishments across the country, including New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The Vermont Department of Health has received reports from two restaurants in state this past week regarding calls from fake inspectors.

Restaurant operators who receive such calls are advised to report them to the Vermont Department of Health's Food & Lodging Inspection program at 800-439-8550 (and choose '3' for Food & Lodging) during business hours, or by writing the webmaster at healthvermont.gov.

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