Warning of a Door-to-Door Meat Scam

By: Michigan City Police Department Last Updated: January 22, 2014

Ask-a-CopThe Michigan City Police Department would like to warn citizens of LaPorte County of complaints that the Department has received regarding door-to-door meat or seafood sellers that allegedly have made misleading or false statements to prospective customers and that may be trying to sell meat or seafood door-to-door without proper licensing.

These types of scams have been around for years. The classic misrepresentation is that the meat is available at cut-rate prices because it is left over from another delivery, or because the sales person was unable to complete an expected sale to a nearby restaurant or retailer, or they just have so much inventory or supply that they can offer great discounts.

Common complaints against door-to-door sellers include claims the customers received less meat than what they paid for, the sales persons did not have appropriate permits or licenses to sell food door-to-door, and they failed to stand by promised satisfaction guarantees regarding the product. The idea of buying steaks and seafood from the back of a truck usually does not make any sense, but the low price can often be tempting enough to override any fears about safety or quality. In reality, the price usually turns out to be very high, although consumers cannot tell that at first because there is no itemized list of cuts and the price per pound.

The LaPorte County Health Department has very strict guidelines and all door-to-door food sales are required to be licensed, inspected, and verified that the product has come from a licensed facility. In addition to the requirements imposed by Health Department, one who desires to sell meat or seafood door-to-door within the City of Michigan City, must apply for and be issued an Itinerant Vendor License by the City. To verify whether an individual has obtained the proper licensing from the Health Department, you may contact the LaPorte County Health Department at 219-326-6808 or 219-874-5611 (ext. 2220), and to verify whether an individual had obtained an Itinerant Vendor License from the City of Michigan City, you may contact the Controller’s Office at 219-873-1404.