Make a food product complaint

We will investigate complaints about food products, such as food items sold in shops or food sold in cafes and restaurants, if they pose a risk to public health.

If you want to complain about a dirty or unsafe premises, please fill in our food premises complaint form.

We do not deal with complaints about labelling of food or quality of ingredients. These are dealt with by Staffordshire County Council's Trading Standards department.

Where a public health risk is identified we can take formal action, from requiring a business to improve, through to issuing warning letters, a caution, or even a prosecution.

We do not get involved in compensation claims – these are a civil matter and you should take them up with the manufacturer and, if necessary, through the courts.

What complaints we can investigate

Our team will investigate the following types of complaints:

What complaints we can’t investigate

Please contact Staffordshire County Council's Trading Standards department in relation to the following complaints:

  • Food being sold beyond its 'best before date'.
  • Misleading or incorrect food labelling (for example a meat pie containing less meat/different meat than stated on the label).
  • Food being sold not as described (such as pollock being sold as cod).
  • Counterfeit foods or drink (such as counterfeit alcohol).
  • An allergen free meal has been requested but has caused an allergic reaction.

Do I need to keep some of the food I’m complaining about?

We always recommend you keep what is left of the food and any packaging and receipts. You can make a food complaint without having a sample of the food, but it will only be recorded and no further action will be taken, but it may be taken into account if further complaints are made. We will contact you to arrange for you to drop-off/collect the food, packaging and receipts as soon as possible after you submit the form. If the food is perishable, we recommend you refrigerate or freeze it if possible.