The Food Safety Team investigate complaints relating to standards in food premises within the district and food that is unfit, contaminated or contains foreign bodies. eg. insects, metal, glass as part of its role in protecting public health. A formal investigation of complaints can only be carried out where there is reasonable evidence of a food safety offence.
What are my options should I have a complaint?
Complain to someone at the premises you ate at or purchased the food item from. In many instances this is the best course of action and may result in a refund or replacement.
A food item may be returned direct to the manufacturer who may offer an explanation regarding the problem, along with some form of compensation.
If you consider the complaint could pose a serious risk to public health, you should contact the Food Safety Team at West Somerset Council. If the officer feels the complaint warrants investigation, arrangements will be made for collection of the item and completion of a food complaint questionnaire. If the product was purchased outside of West Somerset, it will be passed to the relevant authority.
Will I get any compensation?
Officers will only investigate your complaint from a criminal point of view. Any claims for compensation or refunds are a matter between the complainant and the retailer or manufacturer. However, on completion of an investigation, and with your permission, we can release your name to the food business who may then wish to write or compensate you.
What complaints are not dealt with by the Food Safety Team?
Food which is past its ‘use by’ date unless the fitness of the food is in doubt
Complaints about the quality of food
False descriptions and inappropriate labelling of food and drink.
If you have a complaint of this nature you should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service (CACS) who can give you guidance and forward your issue on to the relevant body. CACS can be contacted by phone on 03454 040506 / 0208 1850710, or online at www.adviceguide.org.uk/england.htm.
Food Safety Team
West Somerset House
Telephone: 01643 703704