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Food complaints

In Australia, investigation of food complaints is undertaken by state and territory authorities or your local council.

This is because the Food Standards Code is enforced and implemented in each state and territory by the relevant body.

You can find contact details for each state and territory food enforcement agency here.

Problems with food can include things like foreign material e.g. a bit of plastic in food or glass in cereal; or you might think a meal has made you sick.

Thankfully problems like this are relatively uncommon but when they do occur Australia has a food recall system in place to deal with them.

What should I do if I suspect a problem?

Don't eat the food product you are concerned about. Report the problem to the relevant local food enforcement contact and provide:

  • your name, address and phone number
  • the brand name, food product name and manufacturer
  • the size and package type
  • package codes and dates
  • name and location of the store and the date you purchased it.

Remember to keep the original container or packaging and if relevant, the foreign object (e.g. metal washer that you found in the food).

Refrigerate any uneaten portion of the food.

What should I do if I fall ill?

Food poisoning can be particularly serious in children, the elderly, pregnant women and people who are immuno-compromised (e.g. cancer and AIDS patients).

If you or someone under your care falls ill, it is important to seek early medical attention. Tell your doctor if you think that your illness is related to food you have eaten.

Remember that many food poisoning bugs take a while to take effect. Often the last meal may not be the culprit, as sometimes food poisoning symptoms may not appear for many hours and sometimes days.

Food recalls

A recall is action taken to remove food from distribution, sale and consumption, which may pose a health and safety risk to consumers.

FSANZ coordinates food recall information to state and territory authorities, other government agencies and industry.

Food and health authorities advise on whether the recall of a food product should occur and in most cases industry initiates the recall process.

Stay informed about the latest consumer recalls by subscribing to our Food Recall alert. We also publish the latest recalls on our Facebook page and via Twitter.

Information on Australian product recalls (including food) is also available on the Product Safety Recalls website and the ACCC Recalls iPhone app.

Page last updated 15 December 2023