Food and Safety Advice for the Public

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Handling your food complaint

Remember the following when dealing with food complaints:

  • Avoid handling foreign objects – if they are embedded in the food do not displace them.
  • Keep the food in its original container where possible.
  • Keep any wrappings and labels etc.
  • If the food is perishable keep it in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Keep any till receipts.

Environmental Health is unable to negotiate compensation for complaints on your behalf. Investigations undertaken by this authority only cover the criminal aspect of the each case and not civil liabilities.

There are three ways in which food complaints can be dealt with:

  1. For non pre-packed fresh foods return the food, container etc to the shop from which it was purchased and ask to see the person in charge. For pre-packed foods write to or telephone the manufacturer. The address will be on the package. Explain the nature of your complaint and ask them to investigate it. Ask them to write to you with their explanations of how the problem arose, or
  2. You may wish to take private legal action against the retailer/manufacturer. You should discuss this matter with a solicitor, or
  3. Ask Environmental Health to investigate. An officer will assess the complaint in relation to the seriousness, severity and whether this is a widespread or isolated incident. As a minimum, the officer will make contact with the originating premises and where appropriate the Local Authority in whose area the complaint originates from. This could involve contacting the manufacturer, retailer or supplier by telephone or letter. If the product has been produced locally then it may involve contacting the local producer and could involve a visit to the premises.