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Make a complaint

No matter how good a manufacturer of food is, sometimes things can go wrong. More often than not these will be addressed by the manufacturer before it reaches the general public, resulting in product recall notices, allergy alerts or food hazard warnings.

There are many common food complaints that do not pose a risk to public health.

Please contact the manufacturer or retailer direct if your complaint involves any of the following:

  • You are not satisfied with the product
  • You want a refund
  • The complaint is not a serious matter, for example soil on vegetables
  • You are unsure of the place of purchase
  • You are unsure whether you have stored it appropriately

We only investigate complaints regarding items purchased within Carmarthenshire which are considered to be of public health significance, including:

  • Unfit food, for example decomposing foods
  • Food containing a foreign body, for example a screw in a cake
  • Contaminated food, for example heavy mould

DO

  • Keep the food
  • Keep all wrapping
  • Place the food in a freezer
  • Read the label – have you followed the instructions?
  • Read the label – have you used the food within date?
  • Keep a copy of the receipt
  • Ensure there is enough food left for sampling
  • Be prepared to provide a witness statement
  • Be prepared to give evidence in court

DON'T

  • Throw the food
  • Remove any foreign body – leave it in place
  • Keep it in a place which will promote deterioration
  • Consume the food and keep the cause for complaint
  • Place it outside or retrieve it from a bin

You can:

  • Call us for advice on 01267 234567

You are also welcome to visit us to make your complaint in person, however as our officers are mostly out on visits, we advise you to arrange an appointment in advance.

Visit us at:

  • 3 Spilman Street, Carmarthen, SA31 1LE
  • Ty Elwyn, Llanelli, SA15 3AP
  • Town Hall, Iscennen Road, Ammanford, SA18 3BE.

You may remain anonymous, but please note that we are unable to take formal action without your name and address or offer you any feedback.

If the complaint has originated in Carmarthenshire, we will visit the premises to investigate your complaint. We will look at the condition of the food rooms, assess food hygiene practices, take temperature recordings and where necessary, take samples of food for examination. We also check that paperwork is up to date.

Any findings will be discussed with you, as the complainant, and you will be advised if further legal action will be taken.

Upon completion of our investigation, you will receive notification of the outcome.

Formal action will only be considered when:

  • There is a genuine public health risk
  • The manufacturer has not satisfied us with a reasonable defence as to why the incident occurred
  • There is a robust chain of evidence
  • The proposed action is in accordance with our Enforcement Policy.

If we decide to take formal action, we will ask you to provide a witness statement and ask if you will be prepared to give evidence in court. If we do not decide to take formal action we will notify you and ask if you wish your details to be released to the responsible company who may, in turn, wish to contact you directly.

Investigating food complaints can often be time consuming and quite lengthy.

We have to give manufacturers the opportunity to provide an explanation as to how the problem may have occurred. If the manufacturer is based outside Carmarthenshire, we will also contact the local authority where they are located and ask them to provide us with information about the manufacturer.

For food produced outside of the UK, investigation times will be considerably longer.

Our investigation will commence within 10 working days of it being reported.

Our priority is public health so we cannot act on your behalf to claim compensation. You may take private action and seek independent advice.

We provide food safety advice to businesses, employers, employees and members of the public.

As part of this service, free information packs and leaflets are available – just ask, and we’ll be happy to help.

We can also provide and facilitate training, on request, to various organisations and groups on food safety matters.

If you are a business, check out our detailed guidance to ensure you are trading safely and within  the law.

Page updated on: 03/05/2016

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