Food complaints

How to make a food complaint and what we will investigate or take formal action on.

We review every complaint received and when deciding what actions will be taken, consideration is given as to the nature of the complaint and the history of the business in relation to previous food hygiene inspections and other complaints which may have been received.

We are not able to obtain compensation from a business on your behalf, nor are we able to pursue claims for personal injury. If you feel a claim is appropriate you are advised to contact the company directly or seek legal advice.

Complaints which should be reported include, but not limited to:

  • food that is not safe to eat or has made you ill
  • food sold past the use by date, not the best before date
  • food that is so contaminated that it could not reasonably be eaten
  • food that contains a foreign object
  • chemical contamination of food and improper use of additives
  • composition, quality and nature of food
  • labelling offences and misleading claims.

For us to take further action there must be:

  • a public health risk
  • a good chain of evidence - details of where the food was bought, packaging, receipts
  • evidence that the company has not taken all reasonable steps to prevent the problem.

Any investigation or enforcement action taken by council officers must follow the Environmental Health and Public Protection Enforcement Policy (pdf 378KB)

If you do make a complaint:


  • keep receipts
  • obtain the name and address where the food was purchased
  • keep food in the original wrapper and, or container
  • keep perishable food in the refrigerator or freezer if instructed.


  • 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 such as the fridge or freezer
  • throw away any of the food or packaging.

Should I complain directly to the shop, manufacturer or supplier?

For relatively minor problems it is best to complain directly to the company that sold you the food e.g. food sold past the best before date, you should contact the shop or supplier directly if you are not fully satisfied with the product and you just want your money back.

Most supermarket chains have an efficient quality control and complaints process so you can return an unsatisfactory food item and get a refund. Supermarkets log these complaints and refer them to their suppliers, who can then identify trends and take action.

How do I make a food complaint?

Make a complaint online

Please note: Every food business receives an routine inspection between six months and three years, and complaints are a very important way we can identify businesses that may be in breach of food law. However we can't investigate every complaint. Please be assured we take all complaints seriously and prioritise investigations based on risk. You will only be contacted if further information is required. 

Contact details

Hammersmith & Fulham Council
The Environment Department
Food and Safety Team
Hammersmith Town Hall
King Street
W6 9JU

020 8753 1081

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