Investigation length and actions

Complaints whether formal or informal can take a considerable amount of time as other local authorities, vendors, importers, laboratories, manufacturers and legal departments may need to be contacted so that we can pursue our investigation. At any time during the investigation we may need to contact you to gain further information.

You can also contact the investigating officer who will give you an up to date account of the investigation.

If the food business can show that it has taken all reasonable precautions to ensure food safety, then this will be held as a legal defence in court, even if it is felt that the food was unsatisfactory when you purchased it.

Actions following investigation

Whilst pursuing an investigation the officer may deem it necessary to pass the complaint to another investigating authority i.e. Trading standards. Alternatively the complaint may be closed due to lack of evidence, due to the fact that there may be nothing legally wrong with the food, or that there is a legal defence available to the food business.

Once the investigation has been completed the officer will then decide on the necessary action to take, this may be informal or formal


Advice given to the manufacturer, vendor or a warning. In cases where the decision is made by the officer to be informal, your details will only be disclosed with your permission.


If the decision is formal then you may be asked to provide a witness statement and you may be required to attend as a witness in court. In a formal case it is usual for your name to be disclosed to the manufacturer or vendor.