If you operate a restaurant in Toronto and someone claiming to be a health inspector tries to set up an “inspection” that requires buying a “first-aid kit,” don’t bite, Toronto Public Health is warning.
The city-operated agency knows of about 10 recent cases in which restaurateurs have been contacted in person or by phone by fraud artists posing as inspectors.
The basic story is that an inspection is imminent, and that to pass it the target will need to pay $300 for the requisite “kit.” Legitimate health inspectors do not call ahead of time but rather show up unannounced, TPH says, and neither do they sell first-aid kits, which under the Ontario Food Premises Regulations have no bearing on restaurant inspections.
Anyone who receives such a pitch should report it to police. TPH can also be reached at 416-338-7600 to verify the identity of a legitimate inspector, who will carry a badge and a photo ID card.
“We got calls on our general health line, and the police at 11 Division contacted us about someone reporting [another complaint] around Roncesvalles,” TPH spokeswoman Kris Scheuer said.
But others may have fallen for the scam, she said.
If people believed they were dealing with a bona-fide health inspector, they may not have reported the incident, Ms. Scheuer suggested.