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I want to report a food hygiene issue

When you buy food from a trader not only must the food be safe to eat, the trader must follow Food Safety regulations making sure that the food is prepared in clean and hygienic conditions and anyone who’s job is to handle food has the appropriate training.

This includes

  • Food being kept chilled or refrigerated at the correct temperature
  • The premises and equipment being cleaned and repaired or replaced regularly.
  • Ensuring staff follow good hygiene practices.

If you have reason to suspect that there is a hygiene or cleanliness problem at a cafe or food store then you can argue that under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the food you’ve been served is not of satisfactory quality and ask for a refund, its best to do this as soon as possible.

What should I do next?

If you haven’t already done so then you should try to speak with the trader about your problem to see if you can to come to an agreement. You can then follow this up with a more formal letter of complaint. It’s best to send this by signed for mail which will allow you to check that it’s been received, alternatively you could send an email with a read receipt. You should also give the trader a reasonable timescale to reply.

Concerns regarding the hygiene and cleanliness of a premises that handles food should be reported to your local Environmental Health department which can be found at, they can also be reported to Trading Standards, you can find out how to do this here.

Last updated: 18 July 2019

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