Skip to main content

Food safety

No matter how good a manufacturer or supplier of food is, there will be times when something goes wrong and the food sold is not acceptable to the customer. This guide will help you take the most suitable action.

How to make a food complaint

For relatively minor problems, it is best to complain directly to the place you purchased the food from, without involving Environmental Health or Trading Standards.

Contaminated or unsafe food

We will investigate food complaints that pose a risk to public health (eg where food is contaminated and could not reasonably be eaten, may not be safe, makes you ill or contains a foreign object).

To complain, please contact us:

Tel: 01483 523393


You will need to give us the food item you are complaining about to assist our investigation.  We may not be able to return the item to you.

Surrey County Council Trading Standards

Trading Standards investigates chemical contamination, improper use of additives, labelling offences and misleading claims quality and nature of food (eg cod sold as haddock or chicken containing excess added water). 

Important points when making a complaint


  • keep all receipts
  • get the exact name and address where the food was purchased
  • keep all the food in its original packaging
  • keep perishable food in the refrigerator or freezer
  • read the labelling carefully ('use by' / 'best before' dates and instructions for use).


  • be tempted to handle or pull out any foreign object found in the food - leave it in place
  • put the food in a place where further deterioration or contamination could take place.

We cannot assist with food compensation claims.