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Stratford-on-Avon District Council
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Food Complaints

The Food Team deals with complaints of poor food hygiene and food safety at premises that are in the Stratford-on-Avon District. Complaints generally fall into two categories:

1. Complaints about food premises
2. Complaints about food purchases

1. Complaints about food premises.
All complaints will be treated as confidential unless express permission is given that your name and address may be released. It is important that complainants give their name and address in order that we can respond to you personally the outcome of your complaint.
You may be concerned that your complaint seems trivial or you are not sure if it is worth complaining about. Officers of the food team are happy to discuss any food safety issues with you and they will advise you accordingly. Alternatively you may find the answers in the Frequently Asked Questions Section of these web pages.

2. Complaints about food purchases.
The legislation that aims to ensure consumers are protected in relation to the food they buy is The Food Safety Act 1990. Consumers expect that the food they buy is safe to eat, reaches quality expectations and is not misleadingly presented. If food does not meet these criteria then consumers need to know how to complain. Some complaints can be dealt with by returning the food to the store where it was purchased from, some complaints however warrant further investigation. Complaints about food purchased in the Stratford-on-Avon District are investigated by officers of the Food Team. Where food has been purchased outside the borough we have no powers to investigate, but we will undertake to pass the details on to the correct authority.
Please Note; The Council does not undertake to seek compensation for complainants. We do not have any influence over companies in relation to "goodwill gestures". If you feel you may be entitled to compensation you should seek legal advice.
Examples of some frequent food complaints;

  • Mouldy food.
  • Food containing foreign matter.(e.g. Pieces of metal, glass, plastic, insects)
  • Contaminated food.( e.g. with chemicals)

On discovering a problem with food

  1. Keep possession of the food. It is your evidence of the complaint.
  2. Contact an officer of the food team as soon as possible. (Telephone 01789 260832) In most cases an officer will be able to collect the source of complaint from your home. Food officers are not always in the office, but if you wish to deliver the source of the complaint to us please let us know so we can ensure your complaint can be dealt with. Please do not send food complaints to us in the post.
  3. Keep any till receipts you may have or make a note of the time and date when you purchased the food.
  4. Retain any labels, codes or containers associated with the food. (These are important to enable investigators to trace production dates and times etc.)
  5. Try to preserve the complaint in its original condition. e.g. if you can see something in a food product don't remove it but leave it in place.
  6. If a product is mouldy or you think it may be unfit place the item in a plastic bag or suitable container and freeze it as soon as you can, particularly if you are not able to get immediate advice e.g at the weekend. If you don't have access to a freezer place the product in the fridge to slow down any further deterioration of the product.

The outcome and length of time it takes to investigate a complaint will depend on individual circumstances. Some investigations involve complex analysis and this may often take longer than you would expect. In any event we will keep you fully informed of what investigations have been made and the outcome.

For further information please contact the Food Safety Team on 01789 260832 or by email at food@stratford-dc.gov.uk