Food safety complaints

We deal with complaints about food manufactured, prepared, sold or served in East Hampshire District Council’s area.

We will investigate:

  • Food that may have caused food poisoning or have been contaminated
  • Food containing foreign bodies, for example insects, metal, glass
  • Mouldy food
  • Poor hygiene standards in food businesses (eg dirty or poor practices)
  • Food on sale /sold beyond its 'use by' date.

There are certain complaints that we can't investigate. These include:

  • Complaints about food quality, for example sour milk, over-ripe fruit or vegetables
  • False descriptions or inappropriate labelling of food and drink
  • Claims for compensation or refunds.

Trading Standards at Hampshire County Council usually deals with these complaints.

How to make a complaint

If you would like to make a complaint about food or a food business, we recommend you:

  • Contact us as soon as possible by calling 01730 266551
  • Keep as much of the food as possible, as well as any foreign bodies of concern
  • Keep any packaging and the receipt
  • Store the food appropriately until it is in our care, for example in a refrigerator or freezer.

Alternatively, you can contact the business or premises concerned directly to discuss the matter with the manager or owner of the food premises. We would recommend you put your complaint in writing and keep a copy of the letter.

However, if you return a product to where you bought it from it will be very difficult for the investigating authorities to subsequently deal with your complaint.

What an investigation involves

Each complaint will have an investigating officer assigned to it. The level of investigation will depend on the nature of the complaint, the risk to public health and any similar complaints about the food or business.

An investigation may range from a visual examination and identification of a foreign object to an in-depth analysis of the food.

Complaints about food or a food premises outside East Hampshire

If you have a complaint about food or a food premises which is outside East Hampshire District Council’s area, we will arrange for the complaint to be transferred to the relevant local authority.

Trying to claim compensation or a refund

Our role is to protect the consumer so as to ensure that the incident does not recur. Unfortunately, we cannot help you claim compensation or a refund; it is between you and the retailer or manufacturer.