Food safety complaints

Eggs with a note saying food safety

Council’s Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) investigate food related complaints. Unsafe or unsuitable food is food:

  • would be likely to cause physical harm to a person
  • is damaged, deteriorated or perished
  • contains any damaged, deteriorated or perished substance
  • contains a biological or chemical agent, or other matter or substance foreign to the nature of the food (e.g. mould, cleaning chemicals or a piece of glass).

I think I have food poisoning

If you have eaten food from a food premises within the Surf Coast Shire and believe you have or have had food poisoning, you should contact Council’s Environmental Health Unit as soon as possible on 5261 0600.

The time between eating the food and the appearance of the first symptoms can range from 1 hour to as long as a week or more. This means that the last meal you ate may not necessarily be responsible.

Food does not need to be spoiled; it can look, smell and taste fine but can still cause food poisoning. An individual can experience one or more of the following symptoms in varying degrees of severity:

  • vomiting
  • fever and chills
  • diarrhoea
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • bloody stools
  • headache
  • lethargy
  • loss of appetite

Reporting a Food Complaint

If you find something wrong with your food, whether it be that you suspect it has made you ill or it may have some form of obvious physical contamination, you can report it to Council's Environmental Health Unit on 5261 0600 and follow a few steps to help with investigation. Watch the Food Complaints video to help you understand the process.

Complaint investigation

Food poisoning investigations can be difficult to conduct. In many cases the food poisoning has been reported too late and the suspect food has been completely consumed or discarded. However, it is still important to report your illness so that an investigation can be conducted.

If you have a food complaint there are several things that you can do to help the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) conduct their investigation:

  • Place any contaminated/left over food in the freezer until an EHO comes to collect it.
  • Keep any packaging and proof of purchase to help identify what the product is and where is was purchased.
  • If possible do not remove any foreign object from the food or try to clean it.
  • Write down the details of where you purchased the product and the time, how you transported the product, where you stored it and when you noticed the foreign object
  • If you suspect food poisoning, please consult your doctor and contact Council's Environmental Health Unit on 5261 0600 as soon as possible.