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No matter how much care is taken or how good a manufacturer or supplier of food is, there will be times when something goes wrong and the food sold is not acceptable to the customer.

Food safety teams receive many complaints relating to food every year, finding a foreign object in food is one type of complaint, however, not all pose a health risk. 

For the Food Safety Team to take formal action there would have to be a public health risk, information including where the food was bought and any relevant packaging to provide a chain of evidence and also 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.

Compensations claims are a civil matter that should be taken up by the manufacturer and if necessary the courts. The food safety team, environment health and trading standards department will deal with complaints that pose a public risk they don’t get involved in any compensation claims.

The Food Safety Team will deal with:-

  • Food that is not safe to eat or actually makes you ill.
  • Food that is so contaminated that it could not reasonably be eaten (such as a mouldy pie)
  • Food that contains a foreign object, for example, a plaster or fragment of glass in a cake
  • Chemical contamination of food and improper use of additives
  • The composition of food not as it should be for example sausages containing less than the minimum percentage of meat.
  • Labelling offences and misleading claims

Some Typical Food Complaints should be reported to the retailer.   Complaints relating to tinned food include insects which are harvested along with the fruit and vegetables, whilst steps are taken to remove these insects some will slip through the net. These insects and grubs are killed and sterilised by the canning process and pose no health risk.