Complaints and comments

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Complaints and comments

You can use our service to report a food problem to the business's local authority.

Complaints

Comments and complaints are important to us. We will try to resolve any problem quickly, explain what we have done and why.

You should let us know if:

  • you believe we have not met any of our statutory obligations

  • we have failed to live up to our own service standards, for example if there have been undue delays in replying to correspondence

  • you believe that we have not acted properly or followed the right procedures, for example in the conduct of public consultations, or in our procurement of goods and services

  • you have not been able to access our information or other services because they are not available in a suitable language or format

  • the conduct of any of our staff or Board members has fallen short of your expectations

We have a legal duty to ensure staff in public facing roles meet the necessary standards of spoken English or Welsh fluency – this is under the ‘Code of Practice on the English language requirements for public sector workers’ published by Cabinet Office in 2016.

Where these standards are not met, you may use our complaints procedure and we will aim to deal with your complaint in line with our customer service standards for complaints.

Following receipt of a legitimate complaint of this nature, the member of staff who is the subject of the complaint will be notified and will be informed of the action being taken in relation to it. They will be given the opportunity to give their account of the facts leading to the complaint.

A complaint against a member of staff’s accent, dialect, manner or tone of communication, origin or nationality will not be considered a legitimate complaint under the fluency duty. 

If you are dissatisfied with any decision or policy that we have made, please contact us so we can explain how that decision or policy was reached.

After receiving our explanation, if you believe you have grounds for a complaint, you should follow our complaints procedure.

Complaints regarding our Welsh Language Services

For complaints in relation to our Welsh Language Scheme and services, please initially tell the person you have been dealing with.

We will try to resolve any problem quickly, explain what we have done and why. If you are unhappy with our response, please follow the complaints procedure below.

Our complaints procedure

Most complaints regarding our staff or the services they provide, are best and most quickly resolved by talking to the person or team directly concerned.

Your complaint should be raised within 1 calendar month of you becoming aware of the issue.

Your complaint should be directed to the relevant person or team in the first instance.

If your complaint  cannot be resolved  in this way, you can refer the matter to the FSA Complaints Co-ordinator.

FSA Complaints Co-ordinator
Food Standards Agency 
FOI, Complaints and Transparency Team
Clive House
Floor 7
70 Petty France
London
SW1H 9EX

Email: FCT@food.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 7276 8829

You should do this within 2 calendar months of receiving a response to your initial complaint.

Following a response from the FSA’s Complaints Co-ordinator’s office, if you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you can write to the Chief Executive’s office to ask for a further review of the case. You should do this within 2 calendar months of receiving a response to your complaint from the Complaints Co-ordinator’s office.

Our service standards

If you write to us with a complaint, we will acknowledge your letter within two working days of receiving it. We will write to you with a full reply within 20 working days of receiving your complaint or, within 40 working days if your complaint is being reviewed by the FSA’s Complaints Co-ordinator or Chief Executive. If it is not possible to respond within these timescales, we will explain why and say when you will get a full reply.

If you're still unhappy

If you are still dissatisfied after the conclusion of our complaints procedure, you can ask for your complaint and its handling to be investigated by the Ombudsman.

To do this, you must write to a Member of Parliament - this does not have to be your local MP - asking that they refer your complaint to the Ombudsman. Usually, before you complain, the Ombudsman expects you to have made a complaint to us using our complaints procedure.

If you are unsure about whether your case is suitable for referral to the Ombudsman, contact the Ombudsman's helpline on 0345 015 4033 for guidance.

Comments

We are also very pleased to receive compliments about us or any of our staff, to highlight areas of good practice which acknowledge the hard work of our staff. You can also make a suggestion on how to improve our service. Please forward any compliments or comments to fct@food.gov.uk

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