What is a food complaint?
If you purchase food from a shop or had a meal at a restaurant or cafe and found it mouldy or containing something that should not be there, for example a hair, a piece of plastic, or mouldy food then this can be classed as a food complaint.
Who should I contact?
If you have a complaint about any food or drink you have purchased you may complain to the seller directly or contact Denbighshire's Food Safety Team.
If you return the product to the place of purchase you can discuss the matter with the proprietor. However, it is very difficult for the investigating authorities to deal with the complaint if you have returned the product.
You should, therefore, make a decision on what you expect from your complaint prior to complaining, ie money back, replacement or any other compensation. Enforcement authorities cannot deal with any claims of compensation or refunds. This is a matter between the complainant and the retailer or manufacturer.
If you bring the complaint to the attention of the Food Safety Team, it will be investigated to establish the nature and seriousness of the problem. It may be necessary to liaise with another local authority as the investigation is carried out where the product was purchased.
The Food Safety Team investigates complaints such as:
- Food containing foreign bodies e.g. insects, metal, glass
- Food which is mouldy
- Food that is contaminated or unfit
- Food that is past its 'use by date'
- Complaints about the quality of the food
- Labelling and false descriptions of food and drink.
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 Local Authority to investigate if it has been purchased outside the local authority's area or should be dealt with by another agency such as Trading Standards Departments or the Meat Hygiene Service.
How to make a complaint
If you wish to make a complaint regarding the safety of food that you have purchased or consumed, please contact us.
Please be advised that the investigating officer will require the following information:
- Where the food was purchased from;
- Manufacturers details - these will be found on any packaging etc, it is very important to keep all packaging such as wrappers, boxes or cans.
- Purchase date and time;
- A sales ticket
- Brief history from purchase to discovery of problem
- Storage details.
In certain circumstances, we may also inspect your own kitchen or home. This can be very important if the case does progress to legal action. Many instances where glass has been found in food can be traced back to chipped glasses or dishes within the household. The investigating officer may also take a temperature reading of your own fridge to satisfy him/herself that the food has been stored correctly.