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Complaints About Food Premises

Environmental Health investigates complaints about food premises.

Food poisoning

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 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.

For more advice about food poisoning see the website Food Poisoning advice NHS

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

You can make a complaint on-line by using our make a complaint about a food premises form

If you have found something in a food item you have brought, 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

If you have a complaint about the label on a food item this is investigated by Essex County Council Trading Standards Department phone 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 touch.

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

More advice is given on the Food Standards Agency Food handlers fitness to work Guide.