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Report a problem with food or a food business

Let us know if there is a problem with food or a food business.

For example, you may want to report:

We will need you to tell us the name and address of the food business involved and give us full details of what has happened.


Poor hygiene of food premises or staff

You can report a problem with hygiene at a food business where you have bought or eaten food. Problems could include:

  • poor staff cleanliness, such as hair not tied back, fake nails, dirty overalls
  • poor food handling practices - for example handling raw food then making a sandwich without washing hands, sneezing or coughing over food
  • dirty premises or a build up of waste
  • rats or other pests seen at the premises

You might also want to report other problems, such as smoking in food premises or pets being allowed into areas where food is sold, prepared or served. 

Report a food hygiene problem.


Problems with food you have bought

We receive many complaints relating to food each year, but not all problems are a threat to your health.

You can report serious problems to us, but may be able to contact the manufacturer or retailer instead. Find out more below:


Who to complain to

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You can report a problem to the manufacturer or retailer if:

  • the complaint is not of a serious nature, such as a part of a pea pod in a can of peas, a 'flat' carbonated drink, fish bones in fish
  • you are not sure when and where you purchased the product, or you are not sure how long you have stored it
  • you are not fully satisfied with a product and you just want your money back

Most large supermarkets have efficient quality control and complaint procedures and you can usually return an item to the store and get a refund. The supermarket records these complaints and refers them to their suppliers, who can identify problems and take appropriate action. 

You should report a problem to us if it poses a public health threat, such as:

  • unfit food, for example decomposing meat,
  • food that is so contaminated that it could not reasonably be eaten, such as heavy mould growth
  • food that contains a foreign object, for example a plaster, a nail, glass in food, glass in food
  • food being sold (or displayed for sale) when it is past its 'use by date'

Where possible please save the food in the original container (in the fridge if necessary) and keep the receipt. We will ask you to send us photos of the food, packaging, label or receipt. 

Report a problem

You will need to tell us:

  • the name and address of the food business
  • full details of the problem and when it happened

Report a food problem

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What we can do

We will investigate to find out what has happened. This may involve visiting the food business, giving them advice on what they need to do and, if necessary, taking legal action against them. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to establish the cause of the food complaint or to collect sufficient evidence to take further action. 


What we can't do

We can only deal with problems that happened in our area. If you live in Chesterfield but bought the food somewhere else, you will need to report the problem to the council that covers that area. 

We can't investigate complaints regarding the price of food or poor customer service, but you can get advice from Derbyshire Trading Standards.

We also do not get involved in any compensation claims - you must take this up yourself with the food business and the civil courts if necessary.


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Last updated on 23 November 2020