Food hygiene complaints

We deal with food hygiene issues in the borough of Sefton, If your issue or complaint is about a food establishment outside the borough of Sefton, please contact the relevant local authority.

We would normally hope to respond to your complaint within five working days, however if you believe your concern is an imminent risk then please telephone Sefton's Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845.


In many cases, your complaint can be resolved by taking the matter up with the shop, takeaway or restaurant manager. Generally, businesses are concerned that you have found a problem and will try their best to resolve the matter. We recommend that if you feel able, this should be your first course of action.

We only investigate food safety matters that present a significant risk to public health.

  • Sightings of rats, mice, cockroaches and other food pests in food premises.
  • Poor food handling practices giving rise to significant food contamination. For example, you witness staff handling raw meat products and ready to eat foods without hand washing in between.
  • Poor levels of structural cleanliness in kitchens and preparation rooms.

Feel free to also contact us for general advice or if you are a food business requiring advice

Please don't report low risk complaints which present little or no risk to public health. These include:

  • Takeaway food not being delivered at the right time.
  • Minor complaints of dirty cutlery or glasses.
  • Problems with ants in food premises.
  • Shops selling food beyond 'best before' date.

We will respond to hygiene complaints based on the risk to food safety. We will also consider the past history of the premises and any previous complaints, compliance with legislation noted on previous inspections, and the level of confidence we have in the food business operator.

If the complaint warrants an inspection, we will focus on the areas of concern which could include checking practices, inspecting the condition of the food rooms, taking temperature recordings and checking that paperwork is up to date.

The purpose of the inspection is to improve standards in the food premises and prevent problems recurring.

The investigating officer will inform you of the findings and advise you of any further action that will be taken.


Last Updated on 16 November 2017