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Report a food safety problem

Report a food safety problem

The Health Protection Team 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. 

Report a food safety problem

Once a complaint has been made, a Food Safety Officer will contact you within 3 working days to discuss the matter. 

What we will investigate

  • 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

Complaints about expired use-by dates or labelling

For complaints of this nature, please contact West Sussex County Council Trading Standards Department (opens new window).


We will ask for your details and guarantee that they will be kept confidential. 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.

How we will contact you regarding your complaint

We will respond to all cases by contacting the affected person, and if we haven't already been provided with it then we will request the following information;

  • Details about your illness and symptoms including the dates and times of onset,
  • What you have eaten in the 3 days prior to the onset of your symptoms,
  • We have to ensure you are not a contact with other vulnerable people so we will ask you what your job is,
  • and finally the details of other people within 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. Affected persons may notify us directly, without first having seen their doctor.

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.

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