A woman posing as an Environmental Health Officer has entered a restaurant in Manchester and carried out an unannounced full hygiene inspection. Following the inspection she announced that the restaurant was unhygienic and declared it would need to be closed.
According to Trafford Council and Greater Manchester Police the individual was not from Environmental Health and had entered the premises illegally. It is a criminal offence to impersonate an EHO or a Trading Standards Officer, never be afraid to ask for ID or to check with your local authority to double check.
Local businesses should be aware that there is a risk of the woman making further visits and should therefore be alert and check ID.
A council spokesperson said: ‘Trading standards were working with the police to investigate this, however there have been no new developments in the case. Owners are always reminded to check for identification and call us directly should they be wary of an individual attempting to carry out an inspection" At this time it is not clear what the woman’s motive was, it is possible that she had a personal vendetta against the outlet and this could be an isolated case, but at the current time, she has not been apprehended so we just don't know.
Trafford Council is encouraging residents to register for iCAN alerts, which are issued either as pre-recorded voicemails or emails to alert businesses of local fraudsters operating in the area.