Benalla Rural City - Food Complaints
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Food Complaints  Printer Friendly

Reporting a Food Complaint
If you have found a foreign object (e.g. insect, plastic, metal or other contaminant) in food that you have purchased or there is a spoilage issue with purchased food, please report the matter as soon as possible to the Environmental Health Team on 5760 2600.

Please ensure that you keep the food in question and the foreign object. If the object was found embedded in the food, please leave it attached to the food item in the original packaging where applicable. All perishable food items must be stored cold (below 5 degrees) until an Environmental Health Officer can either collect the sample or the sample can be delivered to the Council offices. It is helpful to retain a copy of a recepit as proof of purchase.

The complaint will be investigated to determine the identity of the foreign object or the nature of the spoilage. Inspections of food premises will be conducted as necessary and where applicable the State Health Department will be notified. Interviews will also need to be conducted with the complainant as part of the investigation.
Food Poisoning
If you suspect that you may have fallen ill from something you have eaten from a food business please report this urgently to Environmental Health on 5760 2600. It is important that any severe illnesses are treated by a doctor who can also conduct tests to idenitify the organism responsible for the illness. In some cases the illness has to be reported to the State Health Department as Gastrointestinal illness caused by certain organisms such as Salmonella are reportable and require specific investigation procedures to be followed.

Any complaints of suspected food borne illness are treated very seriously and each case is investigated thoroughly. All affected individuals are inteviewed and are required to provide details of all food items consumed in the three days prior to the onset of illness as well as general information to attempt to identify the possible cause of the illness. You may also be asked to provide a faecal sample.

The time between eating a suspect food item and the onset of illness will vary hence the need to look at all food eaten for three days. Any leftovers of suspect food should be placed in the freezer in the original packaging and kept separate to all other food items for collection and analysis as required. Any food businesses will also be inspected as part of the investigation.

Whilst all tests and inspections are completed it is not always possible to categorically identify the cause of illness.

Many food poisoning complaints are the result of individuals poisoning themselves through poor food handling and hygiene practices in their home kitchen. Please read about Food Safety at home and Food Poisoning - How to prevent it for information on preparing and handling food at home safely to protect yourself, your family and your guests from unwanted illness.

Food Poisoning and how to prevent it.

Benalla Rural Council
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