Food and Food Premises Complaints

Castle Point Borough Council investigate food and food premises complaints as part of its role to protect public health.

We will only investigate complaints about food premises, which relate to food safety. They include:

  • People smoking in kitchens, storerooms or preparation rooms
  • Pets or animals in kitchens, storerooms or preparation rooms
  • Sightings of vermin or pests on food premises
  • Poor levels of cleanliness in kitchens, storerooms or preparation rooms
  • Poor food handling practices.

We do accept anonymous complaints but use our discretion to take or not to take action based on relevant risk criteria. If you do leave your details we guarantee that they will be kept confidential. However, you may be asked to make a witness statement if your complaint results in legal action being taken against the premises.

Food premises have a legal duty to only sell food that complies with food safety requirements.. If you buy food and find a problem with it contact Environmental Health Services to discuss action that can/cannot be taken.

We can deal with:

  • Food which may have caused food poisoning or has become contaminated.
  • Mouldy food.
  • Food which has past its 'use by' date.

We can't deal with:

  • Food purchased outside of the district, we will arrange for the food complaint to be transferred to the relevant enforcing authority.
  • Any claims for compensation or refunds. This is a matter between the complainant and the retailer or manufacturer.
  • Complaints about food quality e.g.. sour milk, over ripe fruit or vegetables.
  • False descriptions and inappropriate labelling of food and drink.
  • Food and drink that has been tampered with.
  • Food which has expired its 'best before' date.

The last four items above would normally be dealt with by Essex County Council Trading Standards Department.

There are some complaints that we will not investigate if they present no risk to public health or safety. If your complaint falls into this category you will be advised of this and the reason why.

Remember the following when dealing with a food complaint:

  • Keep any till receipts.
  • Keep any wrapping, labels etc.
  • Keep food in its original container where possible.
  • Keep the food and the foreign object. Do not throw the food away.
  • Avoid handling foreign objects. If they are embedded in the food, do not displace them.
  • If food is perishable, keep it in the refrigerator or freezer.