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What is a food complaint?

From time to time you could buy, eat or drink an item of food or drink that does not meet your expectations. Mid Devon District Council will investigate food complaints regarding food purchased within the Mid Devon area.

 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 (such as poor hand hygiene and dirty premises)


Devon & Somerset Trading Standards are based at Devon County Council and deal with 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?

Depending on the nature of the complaint, you may wish to first raise the issue with the shop or business from where the food was purchased.

If you wish to submit a food complaint to Mid Devon District Council, you can do so by using this form. Please note that we will not investigate anonymous complaints.

What will happen to my food complaint?

On receipt of a complaint, one of our officers will decide whether or not it merits or requires investigation, based on their professional judgement and discretion (with regard 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 of Mid Devon or may be dealt with by another agency such as Devon & Somerset Trading Standards.

In many cases, the 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, telephone number and address) to the relevant food business. 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 may be asked to provide a formal statement.

It may take several weeks for the officer 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 manufacturer.


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