WEST CHESTER _ Chester County Health Department Director Margaret Rivello is warning restaurant owners and operators in Chester County that the department has received reports in recent days that an individual or group of individuals is contacting Chester County restaurants by telephone, posing as a food facility inspector.
The food inspector impersonation phone calls have occurred in a number of counties in Pennsylvania, including Chester County. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania Department of Health are investigating these reports.
“Our concern is that this person or group of people is trying to solicit personal information about restaurant owners, which could potentially lead to criminal activity such as identity theft,” Rivello warned. She advises that Chester County food inspections are undertaken through the County Health Department, or in some instances, the Department of Agriculture. Rivello also advises that food inspectors do not make preliminary inspection phone calls, and that they carry badges and photo identification when conducting inspections.
Rivello suggests that restaurants should report any suspicious activity by calling the health department at 610-344-6439.
The Chester County Health Department is working with law enforcement and the PA Department of Agriculture and the PA Department of Health on this matter.