BOS 1- Fraudulent Health Inspection Activity

Press Release

Contact: Kathryn Feather 714.834.3110

Supervisor Janet Nguyen Warns Local Food Establishments About Fraudulent Health Inspection Activity

(Santa Ana) Supervisor Janet Nguyen, Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, is warning local food establishments about possible fraudulent health inspection activity. According to the Orange County Health Care Agency’s (HCA) Environmental Health Division, calls have come in over the last several weeks from restaurant operators concerning the possibility of individuals impersonating an Environmental Health Specialist and unlawfully entering the facility.

Reports indicate that the individuals are requesting to schedule an inspection of the premise, requesting detailed business and personal information from the owner/operator, and they are requesting a call back to confirm the personal information through the use of a unique code. HCA has contacted law enforcement officials and, at this time, a motive for this fraudulent activity is not yet known.

“I encourage all restaurant owners and operators who think they have encountered one of these fraudulent inspectors to contact the Environmental Health Division and report it immediately,” said Supervisor Janet Nguyen, Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “It is very important that you verify that the inspector is legitimate and do not provide any personal information if the inspector does not have the proper identification.”

Information distributed by HCA indicates that inspections of food facilities are done by trained and certified Environmental Health Specialists and are generally unannounced. Environmental Health Specialists do not collect money at food service facilities and do not sell or endorse specific products. The alert also indicates that State law requires Environmental Health Specialists to carry official photo identification and an employee of the food establishment may refuse entry to an inspector unable to present official identification.

HCA encourages anyone with questions regarding fraudulent activity or other issues related to health inspections to contact the Environmental Health Division at (714) 433-6000.

Supervisor Janet Nguyen serves as Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and represents the First District. She also serves as Chair of the OCTA’s Transit Committee. She represents more than 600,000 people, covering the cities of Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Westminster and the unincorporated community of Midway City. Orange County ranks sixth in the nation as the most populous county and has the nation’s seventh highest annual budget.