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Reporting concerns regarding food items

We are able to investigate concerns or complaints about the following issues:

  • foreign bodies in foods
  • unfit/unsafe food sold
  • food with visible signs or mould or decay
  • undercooked food
  • contaminated food

Sometimes more serious objects can be found in foods such as glass, metal or mould contamination:

  • If you find an unacceptable object in your food, you should leave the item as found within the food.
  • If the food is perishable and you can’t bring it to us before the use by date, please freeze the food in your freezer and bring it to us frozen.

Complaints to manufacturers or retailers

You can also complain directly to the manufacturer or retailer which have auditable complaint systems so your issue should be properly investigated.

Manufacturers often have in place due diligence systems to protect against such food complaints. While it may not be acceptable to you that a foreign object has ended up in your food, if the manufacturer can show that food hygiene systems are in place and that the complaint is a ‘one off’ then it’s unlikely that formal action would be considered.

Please note, we cannot assist with or support any civil claim you wish to make against the manufacturer.

Complaints we are unable to investigate

Sometimes we receive complaints about food that do not constitute a risk to health and we are unable to take any action on these complaint types.

While food is manufactured to very strict standards, occasionally unexpected things can be found. We sometimes receive complaints which, whilst upsetting are difficult to prevent.

Before you submit a report to us, please click here to view a list of complaints which we aren’t able to investigate.

What do I need in order for an investigation to be considered?

  • the food affected, please freeze any perishable foods
  • the foreign body (where applicable), please leave this in the food as much as possible
  • all packaging
  • a receipt or proof of purchase

How to report your concerns to us

What happens after I make a complaint?

Once we have received your complaint, we will be in contact to advise of our next actions. We may need to ask you further details about the product, complete an additional form and declaration and we may require the product to be brought into us for further investigation or analysis. We may also require a witness statement to be completed depending on the nature of the complaint.

Sometimes the product you have purchased may not be manufactured in our district and we may need to pass the complaint onto the relevant authority where the product is produced.

Where we find matters of concern during the investigation, we will take suitable actions to improve compliance levels. These actions will be taken in line with our enforcement policy.

Contact us - Food and Workplace Safety

01235 422403
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

Vale of White Horse District Council
Food and Workplace Safety Team
Abbey House
Abbey Close
OX14 3JE