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Cambridge City Council

Report a problem with an item of food

No matter how good a food manufacturer or supplier is, the food you buy will sometimes not be acceptable.

Contact the company that sold you the food for smaller issues where you are not fully satisfied with the product and want your money back. Do this for:

  • over-ripe fruit or vegetables
  • damaged food or packaging
  • bread that has gone mouldy before its best before date
  • insects on fruit or vegetables that might be present due to where the food originated

Ask us to investigate complaints about:

  • food that is unsafe to eat or that makes you ill, such as undercooked chicken
  • food that is for sale past its use-by date – not its best before date
  • food that is so contaminated that you could not reasonably eat it
  • food that contains non-food items within it, such as bits of metal or other objects that might cause injury

Contact Cambridgeshire Trading Standards for complaints about:

  • improper use of additives
  • weights and measures
  • composition of food
  • adulteration of food
  • labelling offences and misleading claims
  • food that has gone past its ‘best before’ or ‘display until’ date, in which case the quality of the food might have deteriorated
  • the quality or nature of food, for example cod being sold as haddock

If you report a food item to us, we’ll try to determine the cause of the complaint. We’ll investigate whether any business involved in the manufacture, distribution or sale of the item has breached food safety law.

We need as much information as possible about your concerns, including your name and contact details, and the name and location of the business in question. All information you provide is confidential and is necessary if we consider taking formal action.

We’ll ask you whether you are willing to give evidence in court, if necessary. This could be in person, but is more likely to happen via a formal statement. This will be essential if we need to take formal action. If you are not willing to give a formal statement we would not be able to take any further action.

We will not seek compensation for you. Compensation is a civil matter that you should take up with the manufacturer or the courts.

If you allow us to investigate your complaint we will not be able to return the food to you.

If after reading this you want to report a problem with an item of food, you can do so online:

Report a problem with an item of food

Please contact us about your complaint before bringing any food to our offices. This lets us provide advice on the most appropriate course of action, and on appropriate storage of the food.

Food poisoning

Report suspected food poisoning if you think you suffered from it after eating food bought from a business in Cambridge.

Contact your doctor as soon as possible. You will need to provide a stool sample for analysis, to confirm whether it was food poisoning.

For questions about a service we provide, please use our contact us form