Toronto restaurants are being warned that people posing as food inspectors are calling area establishments to say they must buy $300 first-aid kits, according to Toronto Public Health (TPH). The agency and the police department received a number of calls over the last week alerting them to the problem.
“If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a Toronto Public Health inspector attempting to schedule an inspection, asking for personal information or selling first-aid kits, contact your local police department,” Jim Chan, food safety manager with Toronto Public Health, said in a statement. “Legitimate public health inspectors do not call ahead to schedule inspections. In most cases, inspections are unannounced. As well, TPH inspectors do not sell first-aid kits to food operators.” Each inspector also carries a badge and a photo identification card. Restaurant owners who wish to verify the authenticity of an inspector can contact TPH at 416-338-7600.
With a population of 2.7 million, Toronto is Canada’s largest city and one of many that has been grappling with the fallout of a massive beef recall by XL Foods in Alberta and a related E. coli outbreak that has sickened 11 people. The plant, which is under new management, is now clear of E.coli, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Truckloads of beef from the Alberta plant were dumped in a landfill last week under the supervision of CFIA officials. The resumption of slaughter and processing at the plant is slated to begin next week.