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Food hygiene complaints

Food premises

Food premises are routinely inspected and high risk premises are inspected more frequently than low risk ones. The environmental health service can only investigate complaints about food premises to do with food safety. These include:

  • People smoking in kitchens, storerooms or preparation rooms
  • Pets or animals in kitchens, store rooms or preparation rooms
  • Sightings of vermin or pests on food premises
  • Poor levels of cleanliness in kitchens, store rooms or preparation rooms
  • Poor food handling practices
  • Undercooked food
  • Large accumulations of refuse

Complaints regarding the quality of food, suitability of dining areas, pets outside food preparation areas may not be suitable to investigate. 

Make a food hygiene complaint

Items of food

Whilst food is manufactured to very strict standards, occasionally unexpected things can be found. We do sometimes receive complaints which, whilst upsetting are difficult to prevent. Sometimes more serious objects can be found in foods such as glass, metal or mould contamination.

  • If you find an unacceptable object in your food, you should leave the item as found within the food.
  • If the food is perishable and you can't bring it to us before the use by date, please freeze the food in your freezer and bring it to us frozen.

Alternatively you can complain directly to the manufacturer or retailer which have auditable complaint systems so your issue should be properly investigated.

You should be aware that manufacturers often have in place due diligence systems to protect against such food complaints. Whilst it may not be acceptable to you that a foreign object has ended up in your food, if the manufacturer can show that food hygiene systems are in place and that the complaint is a ‘one off’ then it’s unlikely that formal action would be considered.

Note: We can't assist with or support any civil claim you wish to make against the manufacturer.

Food poisoning

Often we are contacted by people when they suspect they have food poisoning that they link to a restaurant or takeaway. However if one person suspects they have food poisoning it's not always relevant for us to investigate but if more than one person has become ill it's important to let us know.

The steps are:

  • visit your doctor to get medical help and provide a stool sample that can be tested to confirm whether you have food poisoning or a bug that can cause diarrhoea and vomiting. Even once your symptoms have stopped food poisoning organisms can remain in your system for some time so do see your doctor
  • if your sample confirms food poisoning bacteria we will be automatically contacted and we will contact you.

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