Shropshire Council

Making a complaint relating to food safety

If you purchase food in Shropshire that you're unhappy with, then in many cases we'd advise you to take it back to the shop where it was purchased. However, if you feel there's a food safety risk you can contact us, and we may investigate on your behalf.

If the food was purchased from a premises outside our area, you'll need to contact the relevant local authority.

Please note that we can't negotiate compensation on your behalf.

The following are examples of food complaints that we don't investigate, as they don't pose a risk to public health:

  • foreign bodies associated with the type of food, for example insects or soil in fruit/vegetables, or small bones/parts of blood vessels in meat/poultry
  • bakery products can occasionally contain bakery char (overcooked dough) or carbonised grease (non-toxic vegetable oil), neither of which are harmful to consume
  • struvite in tinned fish – sometimes crystals can develop during the canning process, and these can be mistaken for glass. However, they're not harmful, and will be broken down by stomach acid if swallowed. To determine if the fragments are struvite, heat them in vinegar for around 20 minutes and they should dissolve
  • food sold past it’s 'best before' date

We may investigate complaints if the item of food:

  • contains foreign bodies such as glass, metal, plastic etc
  • is allegedly unfit for consumption due to (for example) mould, decomposition or chemical contamination
  • has been sold beyond its ‘use by’ date
  • has possibly caused illness
  • is subject to incorrect or misleading labelling

If you wish to make a complaint, please:

  • keep the receipt (not essential but helpful)
  • keep all packaging (if possible) and put it in an airtight container
  • keep perishable food under temperature control, either refrigerated or frozen
  • make a note of the date, time and place of purchase

Making a complaint about hygiene conditions at a food premises

Please contact us with as much information as possible concerning the nature of the complaint. Food businesses in Shropshire are inspected on a routine basis, depending on level of risk (for example a restaurant presents a higher risk than a shop selling only pre-packed food, and will be visited more frequently). Officers will then carry out an investigation where necessary, and this may involve an unannounced visit to the premises. Your name and address will not be disclosed to the food business without your consent.