Food complaints

Food Safety team

Our Food Safety team work within the Environmental Health and Trading Standards Departments. We deal with food safety complaints that pose a public health risk.

Compensation claims are not our responsibility. They are a civil matter that you need take up with the manufacturer.

Make a food complaint

Contact us about:

  • food that is not safe to eat or makes you ill
  • food that is contaminated and can't be eaten, such as a mouldy pie
  • food that contains a foreign object, such as a fragment of glass in a loaf of bread
  • chemical contamination of food and improper use of additives
  • composition of food such as sausages containing less than the minimum percentage of meat
  • adulteration of foods
  • labelling offences and misleading claims
  • quality and nature of food such as pollock being sold as cod

We will take action if there is:

  • a public health risk
  • a good chain of evidence such as where the food was bought or any relevant packaging
  • evidence that the company concerned has not taken all reasonable steps to prevent the problem

Any formal action must also comply with the Council’s Enforcement Policy.

Minor complaints

Sometimes it's better to report minor problems directly to a shop, manufacturer or supplier directly. For example:

  • if you are not fully satisfied with product and want your money back
  • when your complaint isn't serious such as finding part of a pea pod in a can of peas, or a flat carbonated drink

Useful tips


  • keep receipts
  • note down the name and address of where you bought the food
  • keep the food in the wrapper and container
  • keep perishable food in the fridge, especially if your complaint involves decomposition or 'off' smells and tastes
  • read and follow labels for best before and use by dates


  • be tempted to handle or pull out any foreign objects found in the food – leave it in place
  • put the food in a place where further deterioration or contamination could take place - keep it in the fridge, but separate from other foods
  • don’t throw away any of the food or packaging

Last updated: 9 December 2019