Warning to Hawaii Restaurants About Recent Health Inspector Scams
August 05, 2010
restaurantThe Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) reports that fake health inspectors are contacting local restaurants and may be trying illegally to obtain sensitive information about restaurant employers or employees. Call the DOH to verify inspector identities and let Hawaii's BBB now if you are contacted by a fake DOH inspector. 

As of August 4, DOH Sanitation Branch offices recieved two Oahu and three Maui reports of male caller(s) contacting local restaurants claiming to be from the local health department investigating a complaint. The caller stated that the DOH has received complaints regarding the establishment and would be coming at a later date to make an inspection. Similar scams are occurring on the Mainland in an effort to obtain sensitive information about employers/employees.

The DOH typically does not call a food establishment prior to a routine inspection or when investigating a complaint, and DOH health inspectors must always wear or display their DOH issued identification before entering an establishment. Only DOH sanitarians and food and drug inspectors enter food establishments to investigate health-related complaints or to make routine inspections.

Restaurants are urged to ask for proper identification and
call the DOH if they have any doubts:

  • If the person claims to be a a sanitarian (health inspector), call the DOH sanitation branch at 586-8000.
  • If the person claims to be a food and drug inspector, call the DOH Food and Drug Branch at 586-4725.
  • Neighbor Island health offices:
    • Hilo: 933-0917
    • Kona: 322-1507
    • Kauai: 241-3323
    • Maui: 984-8230

Use "I want to report a scam" and let Hawaii's BBB know if your restaurant has received a suspicious call.

Full DOH news release.