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Food Safety

Food Complaints

Image of a food complaint

The Health Protection Section will investigate most complaints regarding food purchased, manufactured or given away free within the Borough. We will also investigate complaints regarding the conditions, standards and hygiene of food premises within the area.

Complaints about Premises

Whilst officers are visiting food businesses in the area on a regular basis, we rely upon members of the public contacting us if they see anything in a food business which they feel would make the food unsafe. Whether it is the cleanliness of the business, the hygiene of the staff or the way food is being handled and stored. We visit all the premises that people tell us about and take whatever action is necessary to ensure the safety of food. Your name and address will be kept confidential. If you observe anything you are concerned about you can contact us using the contact details below.

Food Complaints

Foreign bodies are on occasion found in food and some of these are either normal constituents of the food or harmless contamination. Further information can be found in our leaflet on foreign bodies or you can contact us for further advice. Many 'foreign objects' complaints may be dealt with by returning the food to the retailer, however, some have serious food safety implications and will need to be dealt with by the Health Protection Team. We will investigate most complaints regarding the condition of any food items purchased or manufactured in our area,  that pose a health risk. All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence. We will not disclose the complainant's details without their permission to do so.

To allow us to investigate a complaint thoroughly we will normally require:

  • The food - please try to keep as much of the product as possible
  • The foreign object (item of concern)
  • The product packaging along with a receipt if possible


If you discover the item some time before you can contact us, it is important that you try to keep the food in the exact condition in which it was found - this may mean wrapping the food up and keeping it either in the fridge or freezer.

We will carry out an investigation to determine the cause of the complaint and ensure appropriate action is taken to protect public health. The particular course of action taken will be at the discretion of the investigating Officer.

Please note that in some cases the food that you purchase in our Council area does not originate from the area. In these cases we will usually contact the 'originating authority'. This is the local authority covering the district where the food was produced. These cases can take a little longer to investigate than a case involving food produced within tour Council area.

We do not get involved in any aspect of compensation for the complainant. For advice and information on compensation you may wish to contact the local Citizens Advice Bureau or a Solicitor.

You can of course deal with a complaint by returning it directly to the retailer concerned and explaining your problem. It is also a good idea to put the complaint in writing and retain a copy of the letter.

For further information regarding food complaints please contact us using the contact details below.