What will happen to my food complaint?

Once the officer investigating your complaint has collected the relevant information, the most appropriate action will be determined by reference to national and local guidance on food safety. You may find that your complaint has been referred to another Authority to investigate if it has been purchased outside our Borough, or should be dealt with by another agency such as Trading Standards Departments or the Meat Hygiene Service.

In many cases, action taken will be informal. The investigating officer will give you an explanation of the outcome of the investigation and with your agreement disclose your details, i.e. name, address, etc. to the food business concerned. Most major food companies like to contact customers to provide assurance of the quality of their products. In other cases, the investigating Authority may wish to deal with matters in a more formal manner and take legal action. When this is necessary you will be requested to produce formal statements and further details may be requested from yourself.

It may take several weeks for the investigation to collect all the necessary evidence on which to decide what action is appropriate. You will always be kept informed of the outcome of the investigation and this is normally done in writing.

Can I get compensation?
We will not attempt to gain compensation on your behalf, as this is a matter between the complainant and the retailer or the manufacturer. Citizens Advice offers advice on seeking a refund. 

Common Food complaints
We receive many complaints about foreign bodies in food products every year. A number of items found are either normal parts of the food or harmless and can be dealt with by returning to the retailer.

Others may have food safety implications and have to be dealt with by an enforcement officer.

The table below details many of the common complaints we receive.

The action points are intended to guide you to the best way of dealing with the problem.