Agriculture Department Again Warns Restaurants of Potential Scam

Dec 03, 2010, 15:14 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Restaurants in Two New Counties Report Receiving Suspicious Calls

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Restaurants statewide are reminded to be on guard against a potential scam in which an unidentified caller claiming to be a health inspector asks for business information, Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding said today.

The latest reports involve suspicious calls received by restaurants in Venango and York counties. Earlier this year, restaurants in Bucks, Chester, Cumberland and Montgomery counties received similar calls.

Redding said the caller is not a licensed agent of the state or any county. He also reminded restaurants that inspections by the state Department of Agriculture's food sanitarians are always unannounced. Upon arrival, sanitarians will identify themselves and showing proper identification, including a commonwealth employee photo identification card and food sanitarian badge.

"We appreciate businesses reporting these incidents to the department," said Redding. "It's important that restaurant personnel contact local law enforcement if they believe their establishment has been contacted by someone claiming to be a health inspector who seems suspicious."

For more information about food safety, visit  

Media contact: Nicole L. C. Bucher, 717-787-5085

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture