The Health Protection Team of Health Protection and Environmental Management can only investigate food complaints which relate to public safety. We do not get involved in any compensation claims. Compensation claims are a civil matter that you must take up with the manufacturer. Once a complaint has been made, a Food Safety Officer will contact you within 3 working days to discuss the matter. Any complaints regarding food being sold after its use by date or issues with food labelling please contact  West Sussex County Council Trading Services Department .

Report a food safety problem

Or contact;

Health Protection Team (for Local Authority enforced premises)
Job title:
Health Protection Manager
Housing & Environment Services
Chichester District Council
East Pallant House
West Sussex
PO19 1TY
United Kingdom

Things that we will investigate include:

  • people smoking in kitchens, store rooms or preparation rooms
  • pets or animals in kitchens, store rooms or preparation rooms
  • sightings of vermin or pests on food premises
  • poor levels of cleanliness in kitchens, store rooms or preparation rooms
  • poor food handling practices

We will ask for your details and guarantee that they will be kept confidential. However, if your complaint results in legal action being taken against the premises we may ask you to make a witness statement. We will accept anonymous complaints but will use our judgement whether or not to take action depending on the information given and the risk criteria.

Affected persons may notify us directly, without first having seen their doctor. We will respond to all cases by telephoning the affected person and asking for a lot of details about the illness, including the dates and times, what symptoms, what you have eaten, your job and details of people in your household.  This information can be vital in preventing further spread of the infection. You may also be asked to provide a stool specimen if you have not already done so.

If there is evidence that your illness is related to a specific restaurant or takeaway within the Chichester district we will want to discuss the matter in detail will you. In most cases it is very difficult to connect an event of illness to a particular business. If a whole group of people, at a party or wedding reception, for example, are all affected by the same symptoms at the same time then it is easier to link illness with the food they have eaten. There are many types of food borne illness caused by different bacteria.

The most common include:


Symptoms include stomach cramps and severe diarrhoea and sometimes vomiting and fever. They can begin 2-10 days after eating contaminated food but usually within 2-5 days. Main sources are undercooked chicken and other meats, pets, unpasteurised milk and contaminated water and cross-contamination to other foods. This organism is the most common cause of acute diarrhoea in adults.


Symptoms include stomach pain, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting. It usually takes about 12-48 hours for the illness to develop. Symptoms can be much more severe in the young and elderly. Main sources are undercooked chicken and other meats, unpasteurised milk and raw or undercooked eggs. This organism is the 2nd most common form of food poisoning.

E.coli O157

Symptoms include severe bloody diarrhoea, and the infection can lead to serious kidney damage in children. Usually takes 3-4 days for illness to develop. Main sources are undercooked beef burgers and minced beef, contaminated cooked meats and unpasteurised milk. This organism has also been linked to farms and farm animals.