The law and how to report a food related problem
We are here for you if something goes wrong. Food businesses have a legal duty to sell food that is safe to eat, of a suitable standard and quality and is labelled properly. If that standard isn’t met, then it’s important to report the incident to the relevant authority to protect other customers.
For most food related problems your local authority are responsible for investigating the problem. They will investigate:
- Complaints around food safety and hygiene practices e.g. cross contamination
- Food that may have caused food poisoning
- Food containing foreign bodies
- Food sold beyond their “use by” date
If the issue is around misleading labelling or misleading claims in England and Wales this should be reported to Trading Standards in Scotland and Northern Ireland report to your local food safety team.
Allergen information in restaurants
Caterers must, by law, be able to provide you with information on any allergens, including cereals containing gluten, in all the dishes they serve. This means if a recipe uses cereals containing gluten such as wheat, rye, barley or oats in the ingredients, they will have to tell you. This is as a result of legislation that was brought in at the end of 2014 to improve allergen information for consumers. Read more about the changes brought in with the Food Information Regulations.
Caterers can provide allergen information in writing or orally. Where the information is not provided written and upfront, there must be clear signposting to where the information can be found. Businesses choosing to provide information orally must ensure that there is a written notice, menu, ticket or label that is clearly visible, at the point that you choose your food, to indicate that allergen information is available from a member of staff.
To help a server take your order and correctly mark it as requiring special attention in the kitchen, simply tell them that you need a strict gluten free diet and cannot have gluten in any of your food. Do this at the earliest opportunity and make sure to ask questions about anything that isn’t clear.
If you are in a restaurant or café that is selling food that is already packaged such as a sandwich or cake, make sure you read our page on food labels so that you know what to look for on the label.
Complaints about a GF Accredited Venue