Food | Local

Wash. Bans Food Handlers Web Service Embraced By Many Ore. Counties

OPB | July 9, 2014 2:58 p.m. | Updated: July 9, 2014 7:30 p.m.

Contributed By:

Aparna Vidyasagar

The Washington Attorney General’s Office has reached a settlement with an Oregon-based company that certifies food handlers online.  Washington officials had sued eFoodhandlers Inc. for what the state called “deceptive business practices.”

The company runs a series of websites that train food service workers. In fact, most counties in Oregon recognize eFoodhandlers as one of their official training sites.

But in Washington, eFoodhandlers certificates were never considered valid.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said that the state received calls indicating that eFoodhandlers was issuing certificates on its website anyway.

“They had a very, seemingly, legitimate looking website. They had governmental seals, for example, on the website. It all looked very legitimate; I’ve been to the website myself. I can see why 11,000 people were tricked into thinking it was legitimate,” Ferguson said.

Under the settlement, those certified by efoodhandlers.com or wafoodhandlers.com in Washington will receive a full refund. In addition, eFoodhandlers Inc. can no longer conduct business in the state.

In an email, Michael Kelm, president of eFoodhandlers Inc., said he would not make any statement at this time.

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