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Food complaints

Do you have a complaint about an item of food that you have bought that doesn't meet legal standards?

We deal with complaints about unfit food and foreign bodies in food, and also with complaints about labelling, composition and quantity. Take a look at the food complaints guidance for more information on unfit food.

PDF Document Food complaints guidance (PDF, 151KB)Opens new window

What food you can complain about

Food with foreign bodies, mould, insects, unusual tastes or odours can sometimes give cause for concern.

What we can investigate

  • Food that is unfit to eat, injurious to health or contaminated with foreign matter.
  • Food that is not of the substance, nature and quality it should be eg labelled incorrectly or incorrect weight or size

How you can help

  • With transparent containers such as a glass jar or a plastic bag, a foreign body may be visible within the food before you open the container. In this case DO NOT OPEN the container. Removing the foreign body might destroy evidence. 
  • You may only become aware of a problem when you unwrap the food or even whilst eating it. It is important that you keep all the food, not just the foreign body. Place it in a suitable container eg a plastic bag or an airtight sandwich box and keep it in your fridge, taking care to place it where it can not drip or come into contact with other foods. If the foreign body is embedded in the food e.g. an insect in a slice of bread, do not try to remove it.
  • Keep all the packaging including the lids of cans, tops of packets etc, and the receipt if at all possible. They may be needed to identify the factory where the food was manufactured, or the date and time of manufacture. 
  • Remember: How the food was handled in the early stages of an investigation can affect certain tests which may need to be carried out. Do not handle the food more than necessary, and never touch a foreign body or dislodge it from the surrounding food.
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