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What is a food compliant?

If you bought food from a shop, or had a meal at a restaurant or café and found it contained something that shouldn't be there, for example plastic or hair, then this can be classed as a food complaint.

We also investigate complaints about hygiene standards in food businesses.

Who to contact to make a food complaint against a shop, restaurant or café

We investigate food complaints such as:

  • food containing foreign bodies, e.g. insects, metal or glass
  • food that is mouldy
  • food that is contaminated or unfit to eat
  • hygiene standards in Food Businesses

Devon & Somerset Trading Standards are based at Devon County Council and process complaints such as:

  • food that is past its use by date, (unless the food is unfit, then we would investigate)
  • complaints about the quality of food
  • labelling and false description of food

How do I make a food compliant?

To make a food complaint, you must contact the Local Authority for the area in which you made your purchase. If this was in Mid Devon, please Contact us.

What will happen to my food complaint?

Once we have collected the relevant information, the most appropriate action will be determined by reference to national and local guidance on food safety. You may find that your complaint has been referred to another Authority to investigate if it has been purchased outside the District of Mid Devon or may be dealt with by another agency such as Devon & Somerset Trading Standards.

In many cases, action taken will be informal. The investigating officer will give you an explanation of the outcome of the investigation and with your agreement disclose your details, i.e. name, address, etc. to the food business concerned. The Customer Services department of most major food companies will contact customers to provide assurance of the quality of their products. In other cases, the investigating Authority may wish to deal with matters in a more formal manner and take legal action. When this is necessary, you will be requested to produce formal statements and further details may be requested from you.

It may take several weeks for the investigation to collect all the necessary evidence on which to decide what action is appropriate. You will always be kept informed of the outcome of the investigation and this is normally done in writing.

Can I get compensation?

We will not attempt to gain compensation on your behalf, as this is a matter between the complainant and the retailer or the manufacturer.

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