State of Missouri warns about imposter health inspector

Posted 1/12/22

Officials with the Audrain County Health Department (ACHD) and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) are notifying the general public and business owners in Audrain County that …

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State of Missouri warns about imposter health inspector

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Officials with the Audrain County Health Department (ACHD) and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) are notifying the general public and business owners in Audrain County that an imposter health inspector has been making the rounds in the state of Missouri.

“We have received two separate reports of individuals impersonating a ‘health inspector’ here at DHSS. This can look like someone calling to schedule an inspection or arriving on site and stating they are a ‘health inspector’, stated an email from the Bureau of Environmental Health Services within DHSS. “It is important to know that this could be happening in your area.  If you are aware of an individual impersonating a ‘health inspector’, please let local authorities know.” 

ACHD environmental public health specialist Sarah Palmer says she and her inspector will always provide proper identification when they come to an establishment for an inspection.

“Our inspectors, myself included, will always present the establishment owner or manager with one of our business cards or employee ID card ,” she said. “Also, we do not charge for an inspection so we won’t ask the owner/manager to pay anything.”

According to the DHSS statement, no identification of the suspect has been released at this time other than to say the imposter can look like someone calling to schedule an inspection or stating they are the health inspector when they arrive at a site. Palmer says the ACHD does not schedule their health inspections.

“We don’t schedule restaurant health code inspections,” Palmer said. “The only inspection we schedule are the grease trap inspections. We do that so we’re not disrupting someone’s day because those require the removal of equipment to check the traps outside of the building.”

ACHD administrator/CEO Craig Brace says the ACHD is committed to being as transparent as possible with the inspection program at the department.

“Our inspectors will always identify themselves when arriving at an establishment for an inspection,” he said. “Also, our inspectors will never ask for payment from an establishment. We don’t charge for health inspections. If you receive a visit from someone claiming to be a health inspector and refusing to show proper identification when asked or, they try and charge you for an inspection, please contact us and the local law enforcement agency to file a report.”

No reports to local law enforcement of someone claiming to be a health inspector have been received in Audrain County.

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