The New Hampshire (NH) Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), Food Protection Section is advising restaurant owners and operators to be on the alert for callers misrepresenting themselves as NH food inspectors.
“We have been notified of complaints from concerned restaurant owners from various regions of the State who have received calls from someone posing as a health inspector and, in at least one instance, asking for an inspection fee,” said DPHS Interim Director Patricia Tilley. “The fraudulent inspector may attempt to schedule an inspection at the restaurant or threaten to impose fines if they do not schedule an appointment. Our food protection inspectors conduct unannounced inspections and would not be calling to schedule appointments for routine inspections. They also do not threaten enforcement actions or ask for confidential information or money over the phone.”
Health officials conducting restaurant inspections will always have proper photo identification from the State of NH or local municipality. Food service establishments are advised to never provide confidential information or payments over the phone.
Fraudulent Food Inspectors have been reported by food service establishments in the City of Nashua, mostly amongst businesses whom their primary language is Spanish. The City of Nashua Environmental Health Department only accepts payments at our main office or online, and cannot accept payments at restaurants or in the field. Most routine inspections are not scheduled, but are unannounced. Environmental Health Department representatives will always have City-issued identification badges and identify themselves as Environmental Health Department representatives.
Restaurant owners and operators are advised to immediately report any suspicious or fraudulent calls to local law enforcement officials. In the City of Nashua, please call 603-589-4530. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the DHHS Food Protection Section at 603-271-4589. You can also call the NH Department of Justice Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-888-468-4454 between 9am-3pm.