Health Dept.: Tacoma, Pierce County restaurant owners receive fraudulent phone calls

Operators of several restaurants in Pierce County have recently received threatening telephone calls from a person falsely claiming to represent the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. The Health Department is responsible for food safety inspections in the county. The food business operators began reporting the calls to the Health Department the week of Jan. 17. Typically, the caller requests personal information and home phone numbers of key personnel at the restaurant. “Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has worked closely with restaurants to ensure that food is safe,” said Steve Marek, Director of Environmental Health. “Our food inspectors are thorough, but they do not ask for personal information nor do they call in advance of inspections.” Owners of food establishments who receive a call asking for personal information or threatening fines are being asked to contact Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department at (253) 798-6464. Fraudulent telephone calls should also be reported to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-382-4357 or .