Food Safety Complaints

Reporting a Food Complaint

If you have found a foreign object (e.g. insect, plastic, metal or other contaminant) in food that you’ve bought, or if you have a spoilage issue with purchased food, report the matter as soon as possible to the Council on 03 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 we investigate it. If you have a copy of the receipt as proof of purchase, that can also be helpful.

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 the Council on 03 5760 2600. It is important that any severe illnesses are treated by a doctor who can also conduct tests to identify the organism responsible for the illness. 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 seriously. Each case is subject to a thorough investigation. All affected individuals are interviewed 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 identify the possible cause of the illness. You may be asked to provide a faecal sample.

The time between eating a suspect food item and the onset of illness will vary. 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. Food businesses frequented by an individual with food poisoning are inspected as part of the investigation.

Unfortunately, despite these measures, 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. You can read about food safety at home to learn how to protect yourself, your family and your guests from unwanted illness.