Hygiene in food outlets
Report a food premises hygiene issue
We deal with food hygiene issues in Liverpool. If your complaint is about a food establishment outside Liverpool, please contact the relevant local authority.
We are unable to deal with anonymous complaints but any personal details you do provide will remain confidential.
Before you make a complaint
In many cases, your complaint can be resolved by taking the matter up with the shop, takeaway or restaurant manager. Generally, businesses are concerned that you have found a problem and will try their best to resolve the matter. We recommend this should be your first course of action, particularly with cases of poor practices such as food handlers smoking within a food premises.
What should I report?
We only investigate food safety matters that present a significant risk to public health.
- Sightings of rats, mice, cockroaches and other food pests in food premises.
- Poor food handling practices giving rise to significant food contamination. For example, you witness staff handling raw meat products and ready to eat foods without hand washing in between.
- Poor levels of structural cleanliness in kitchens and preparation rooms.
What don't I need to report?
Please don't report low risk complaints which present little or no risk to public health. These include:
- Takeaway food not being delivered at the right temperature.
- Minor complaints of dirty cutlery or glasses.
- Problems with ants in food premises.
- Shops selling food beyond 'best before' date.
How to report a food premises hygiene issue
What happens next?
We will respond to hygiene complaints based on the risk to food safety. We will also consider the past history of the premises and any previous complaints, compliance with legislation noted on previous inspections, and the level of confidence we have in the food business operator.
If the complaint warrants an inspection, we will focus on the areas of concern which could include checking practices, inspecting the condition of the food rooms, taking temperature recordings and checking that paperwork is up to date.
The purpose of the inspection is to improve standards in the food premises and prevent problems recurring.
The investigating officer will inform you of the findings and advise you of any further action that will be taken.
Will I get compensation?
Our priority is public health so we cannot act on your behalf to claim compensation. You may take private action and seek independent advice from a solicitor.