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June 8, 2012 9:49 AM

Businesses in Bedford Borough are being urged to be aware of bogus environmental health visitors.

At approximately 11.30am on Thursday 24th May, a man claiming to be from the Bedford Borough Council's Environmental Health and Trading Standards team visited a town centre snack bar and claimed he was there to carry out a food hygiene visit.

When the member of staff asked to see his ID he claimed it was 'in the car'. The staff member refused to allow the man behind the counter and he left, while threatening to 'take away' the premises license.

Councillor Sarah Jayne Holland, Portfolio Holder for Community and Regulatory Services, said: "This was clearly an upsetting experience for the member of staff involved but they should be commended for remaining calm and insisting on seeing identification.

"Bedford Borough Council's Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers do carry out regular visits at food establishments as part of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and in response to issues which may be raised by customers. However, any business has the right to insist on seeing identification first and if in any doubt, they are encouraged to call 01234 718099."

Bedford Borough Council's Environmental Health and Trading Standards have the following advice for all businesses:

· All officers will be helpful, courteous, polite and respectful of privacy and will do all they can to ensure the service required by members of the public and businesses is carried out in the most appropriate way possible.

· Officers will always ask to speak to the owner/manger/person in charge of the premises to identify themselves using official identification and to explain the purpose of the visit.

· If any businesses are uncertain then they are encouraged to call 01234 718099 and ask to speak to a service manager.