Complaints About Food Premises

Environmental Health investigates complaints about food or poor hygiene for premises in our District.  

Food poisoning advice

Food poisoning usually happens within 1 to 72 hours of eating contaminated or poisonous food.

Symptoms can include being sick, diarrhoea, stomach pain, and or high temperature, this normally lasts between 1 to 7 days. Sometimes you can have these symptoms but they are not always caused by the last meal that you have eaten. They can be caused by bacteria that has come from other people, animals, or contaminated water.

There are some advice leaflets in Related Content for some of the most common bacteria that can cause some of the symptoms we have listed.

How do I make a complaint about suspected food poisoning, or something I have found in my food?

You can make a complaint on-line by using the 'Make a Food Complaint' form under Related Content.

You should keep the following items to give to us

  • Your proof of purchase
  • The food wrapping/box or label and or its original container
  • The food and the item you found in the food
  • If the item is still in the food leave it in place rather than remove it
  • Keep the food in a refrigerator or freezer to preserve it for us to examine

Complaints about food sold from premises outside if our District will be passed to the council for that area.

Complaints about the label on the food being incorrect are investigated by the Essex County Council Trading Standards Department, their website i in Related Content, or you can phone them on 0345 603 7625 or send them an e-mail at

I work in a food premises and I have an upset stomach and diarrhoea what should I do?

People who work with open food when they have an upset stomach or diarrhoea can pass on their germs to other people through contact with the food or surfaces they are using.

  • You must tell your boss manager straight away, if you are ill or have been ill because you can still carry germs even after you are better.
  • Managers must not allow their staff back to work around open food for at least 48 hours from when the symptoms stop naturally not through taking medicine.
  • People who work around food must always wash and dry their hands before handling food or food surfaces and especially after going to the toilet.

Please see the Food Standards Agency ‘Food Handlers Fitness to work’ information in the Related Content;