Hygiene in food outlets
Report a food product issue
What we deal with
We will investigate a food complaint if:
- There is enough evidence to take formal action. For example, if it relates to a foreign body then there must be good evidence it was in the food when purchased.
- It has caused injury or has the potential to cause injury to a person.
- The food is unfit and forms part of a larger batch or consignment.
- It has an impact not just locally but on a regional or national basis.
Before reporting an issue, please take a look at common food complaints we receive which do not pose a health risk, along with our suggested course of action.
If the food complaint is a serious health risk and you want us to investigate, you should:
- Keep perishable foods in the fridge or freezer.
- Keep the food, wrapping, labels and receipt safe.
- Keep the food in its original container, where possible.
- Avoid handling foreign objects - if they are embedded in the food do not displace them.
We cannot get a refund for your food or seek compensation on your behalf. If you are looking to claim compensation you must seek legal advice.
It is your decision to pursue the food complaint through us and if you allow us to investigate your complaint we are unlikely to be able to return the food to you.
What we don't deal with
If your complaint does not meet our investigation criteria or pose a serious health risk we cannot deal with it.
We suggest that you return the food to the shop you purchased it from, bring it to the attention of the manager and ask for a refund.
For pre-packed foods write to or phone the manufacturer, explain the nature of your complaint and ask them to investigate. Their contact details should be on the package.
You should also request that they write to you with an explanation of how the problem arose and any action, if necessary, to prevent it recurring.
Make a complaint
You may remain anonymous, but please note that we are unable to take formal action without your name and address.
Complaints will be investigated in accordance with national guidance and internal policies and procedures.
What happens next?
We will get in touch with you and ask you to bring the item in question to the council offices and sign a declaration of release.
After our investigation is complete you must be willing to abide by our decision. We may ask you to provide a witness statement and attend court if legal proceedings are required.
We are unable to negotiate compensation for complaints on your behalf. You must contact a solicitor for this course of action.