Food Complaints

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

The Food Safety Team receives many complaints relating to food each year. Foreign objects in food are one type of complaint, however, not all pose a health risk

What food complaints do the Food Safety Team will deal with? 

The Food Safety Team will deal with complaints that pose a public health risk.

Please note the Food & Safety Team will not get involved in any compensation claims. Compensation claims are a civil matter that you must take up with the manufacturer and, if necessary, through the courts.

Our 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 (such as a fragment of glass in a loaf of bread)
  • chemical contamination of food and improper use of additives

The following complaints are dealt with by our colleagues in the Trading Standards Department at Staffordshire Council who can be contacted at or tel 03454 04 05 06

  • 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)

In order for the Food Safety Team to take formal action there will have to be:

  • a public health risk
  • a good chain of evidence (such as details of where the food was bought, and 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.

Our team can be contacted on 01543 462621

You can also download our printable 'How we deal with your food complaints' leaflet.

Complaining about food

When should I complain to a shop, manufacturer or supplier about a food complaint ? FAQ (R)

 For relatively minor problems it is best to complain directly to the company that sold you the food. Instances where it is appropriate to contact the shop or supplier directly include:

  • if you are not fully satisfied with the product and you just want your money back (most large supermarket chains have an efficient quality control and complaints procedure to enable customers to return an unsatisfactory food complaint and obtain a refund) - supermarkets log these complaints and refer them to their suppliers, who can then identify trends, resulting in remedial action
  • if the complaint is not of a serious nature (such as a part of a pea pod in a can of peas, or a ‘flat’ carbonated drink)


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