Making a food complaint

Find out who to contact for different types of complaints about food or food businesses and the investigation process.

Complaints are welcome

We welcome complaints from the public. Your complaints alert us to any potential problems with food. They are often the starting point for us to track down the source of any problem. If the source is confirmed to be with a food business, we take action. Actions can include:

  • informing a business so they can fix the problem
  • recalls of unsafe food
  • prosecutions. 

Who to contact about a problem with a food product or a food business

If your complaint is about:


  • Foreign objects in food
  • An allergic reaction to foods  
  • Food sold past its use-by date
  • Incorrect labelling
  • An unregistered food business
  • Unhygienic or incorrect food handling, storage, transport, or preparation

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI):

MPI may pass the complaint on to your local council if the business is registered with the council. 

You can use our register to find out if the business is registered with a council and which council it is registered with: Public register

Food poisoning

The district health board (DHB) public health unit where you are located.

Public health unit websites – Ministry of Health

MPI works with public health units to investigate food poisoning.

Fair Trading Act breaches including false or unsubstantiated representations about food being organic or free range, or its place of origin

Commerce Commission  

Advertisement content or placement

Advertising Standards Authority:

Weight and/or measurement of products

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment:

MPI complaint process

Each complaint to MPI is logged and considered carefully.

We give priority to:

  • situations that will, or have the potential to, cause serious harm
  • deceptive or fraudulent activity
  • patterns of similar incidents that suggest ongoing or broader issues.
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