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FSA advises food businesses to be vigilant in wake of rating scam

Charlotte Anderson   |   April 30th 2019   |   3 minute read


Three local authorities in Wales and one local authority in England have received reports from businesses who have been approached by a person claiming to be from the FSA. The person has demanded money from proprietors for a food hygiene re-rating, claiming that failure to pay would result in a fine.

Clearly, neither the FSA nor local authorities would demand money in this way. Re-inspections only occur at the request of the business; in no instance would a local authority demand a re-inspection, and as routine inspections are performed free of charge, there is no occasion in which an environmental health officer would show up and demand payment for any reason.

If you are concerned that your business may have been targeted by a scam involving food hygiene ratings, then please report your concerns to your local authority. Follow this link if you need assistance finding the relevant contact details

Angela Towers, Head of the Food Hygiene Rating Team of the FSA, said: 

"Although the number of reports of this particular scam are low, we are concerned that businesses may lose money to fraudsters pretending to be from the FSA or a local authority. If you are approached by someone asking you to hand over money in this way, do not make any payment and always advise your local authority."

Routine food hygiene inspections can be carried out at any time and whilst you won’t necessarily receive notification from your local authority prior to inspection, environmental health officers won’t ever request payment for a routine inspection or show up for re-inspection without prior arrangement.

If you’re ever in doubt as to whether an inspection is legitimate, then simply ask to see the relevant person’s identification pertaining to their role/local authority; or else contact them using the above details.

scam alert