Food hygiene and safety


Food bought from a shop, a meal eaten at restaurant or café or a takeaway meal found to contain something that clearly should not be there, such as piece of plastic or an insect, is a food complaint and can be investigated further.

However, food complaints are not isolated to issues of foreign body contamination. They can include:

  • food that has caused or is alleged to have caused food poisoning
  • mouldy or ‘unfit’ food
  • poor food hygiene standards within a food business
  • food past its ‘use by’ date

Who do I contact if I have a food complaint?

If you have a complaint about food or drink you have purchased or consumed, or you are concerned about the food hygiene standards of a particular premises, please email

You may decide to complain to the seller direct and to discuss the matter with the proprietor. However, it’s very difficult for the council to then formally investigate your complaint if the product has been returned.

What will happen to my food complaint?

The investigating officer will collected the evidence and information surrounding your food complaint. In many cases, action will be informal. You will be advised of the outcome and with your agreement your details can be disclosed i.e. name, address, etc. to the food business concerned. The Customer Services section of most major food companies like to contact customers to provide assurance of the quality of their products.

In other cases, the decision may be taken to pursue further formal action, even prosecution.

It may take a number of weeks to undertake an investigation. You will be kept informed of the outcome of the investigation.

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