Council may investigate any complaints relating to food that is within our authority. Common types of complaints received and investigated by Council are:
- Illnesses believed to be caused by eating food
- Foreign matter found in food
- Unhygienic practices observed eg foods not handled, stored or processed in accordance with legislation
- Unclean premises
- Labelling breaches
- Business trading without appropriate development consent, approvals or notification
Food that causes food poisoning can still look, smell and taste fine. Symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting, fever and chills, diarrhoea, nausea, bloody stools, abdominal pain, headache, lethargy and loss of appetite.
The time between consumption of the food and the appearance of the first symptoms may be as short as one hour or as long as a week or more. This means it is very important to remember that the last meal you ate is not necessarily the culprit.
For further information on food poisoning see NSW Food Authority.
Information required for food complaints
When placing a complaint/request the following can help Council’s Environmental Health Officer investigate the matter:
- Keep any packaging or proof of purchase of the products eg receipt to help identify what the product is and where it was purchased from
- Provide details on the date, time and place of purchase of the product. Information of how it was stored prior to consumption eg how transported home, kept in refrigerator
- If any food remains, place it in the freezer in case it is required for the investigation
- If you suspect food poisoning, it is very important that you consult your doctor who may take samples to help identify the source of the poisoning. Also try and remember what has been eaten in the last seven days. Remember the time and date of the onset of symptoms; and
- Other information may be sort throughout the investigation.
Other food related complaints outside Council's authority can be referred to the following organisations: