We are responsible for promoting and enforcing food safety and health and safety standards within Sheffield. If you have a complaint about food or a food business we may be able to help investigate if there is a public health risk.  

Food safety we will investigate

  • dirty food premises
  • food containing foreign bodies
  • poor hygiene practices by staff working in food businesses
  • unsatisfactory food quality
  • misleading food labelling and packaging
  • food past its use by date being sold by a retailer or used by a caterer

Food safety we cannot help with

  • where there is no public health risk
  • where a complaint is made anonymously
  • where there is insufficient evidence to support an offence
  • where you no longer have the item you are complaining about
  • where the business has already been asked to investigate
  • where there is undue delay between the problem happening and you telling us about it
  • where you are seeking a refund, a replacement or other compensation
  • where your complaint is about customer service

Dealing with a complaint yourself

Unfortunately we can’t investigate all food complaints and recommend that, if you feel able, dealing with the complaint yourself should be your first course of action. Generally, businesses are concerned that you have found a problem and will try their best to resolve the matter.

When dealing with a complaint yourself we recommend you follow these steps:

  1. Go back to the trader and explain your problem - take along any evidence you have, such as copies of receipts and packaging (keep the originals yourself). If possible, take a photograph of any food or foreign bodies and then store the original items in the freezer to prevent deterioration.
  2. Put your complaint in writing to the business - keep a copy of the letter and send by recorded delivery. In your letter explain the complaint and the action you would like the trader to take to solve the problem.

Providing evidence

For us to investigate a complaint you must have all related ‘evidence’ including receipts and packaging, also the food itself where applicable. If you have lost or discarded these, we will be limited in the action we are able to take.

If requested to do so, you will need to bring the affected food/foreign object into our offices for inspection. If the food item is perishable please store it in a clean, sealable container in your fridge/freezer (separate from other foods if possible).

Contacting us

When reporting an incident it is important that you include a contact telephone number, as our officers may wish to contact you for further details regarding your complaint. 

Health Protection

5th Floor North
Howden House
1 Union Street
Sheffield

S1 2SH