For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: March 6, 2007

Wasden Stops Hand-Washing Poster Promotion

(Boise) – Idaho businesses that purchased unnecessary health posters from a Michigan based business calling itself the Idaho Food Service Compliance Center are entitled to refunds under the terms of a legal settlement, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said today.

The company, which also used the name “Idaho Mandatory Poster Agency,” falsely advertised that all food establishments in Idaho were required to purchase “approved hand-washing” posters in order to comply with new Idaho food codes. However, Idaho has no new food statutes regarding hand-washing posters. The company sold the posters for $19.95 each.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit began an investigation after receiving a complaint from an Idaho business.

“Idaho businesses shouldn’t be led to believe they must purchase something they don’t need,” Attorney General Wasden said. “I hope this settlement and its associated costs to the company will encourage it to be more conscientious about its advertising in the future.”

Under terms of the settlement, the company will pay a refund to all Idaho businesses that purchased the $19.95 poster. The Idaho Food Service Compliance Center also agreed to pay the Attorney General $10,000 in civil and investigative costs. The company did not admit to any liability.

Idaho businesses that purchased hand-washing posters from the Idaho Food Service Compliance Center or the Idaho Mandatory Poster Agency may obtain a refund by sending a written refund request and the purchased posters to: Mandatory Poster Agency; ATTN: Idaho Refund Request; 5859 W. Saginaw Highway, Suite 343, Lansing, MI 48917. Businesses should report any problems they encounter in obtaining a refund to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit at (208) 334–2424. Idaho businesses outside the Boise calling area may call toll–free (800) 432–3545.

To ensure that consumers know that the company is not affiliated with an Idaho government agency, the Idaho Food Service Compliance Center agreed that it will no longer use the state’s name in its business titles. Additionally, the company is prohibited from using any official symbols, such as an outline of Idaho or a bald eagle, in its advertising.

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