Food Incidents

A food incident is where concerns about actual or suspected threats to the safety or quality of food requires intervention to protect consumers.

Contact your Local Authority

Reporting an incident

All food incidents should be reported to your local authority environmental health department.  This includes incidents involving poor food hygiene, a foreign object in your food or cleanliness of facilities.

What is an incident?

A food incident occurs when there are concerns about the safety or quality of food and/or feed. During an incident, Food Standards Scotland’s (FSS) Scottish Food Crime and Incidents unit (SFCIU) will intervene where necessary to protect consumers.

FSS deals with a broad range of incidents from management of outbreaks of bacteria or viruses in food, to management of on-farm incidents, to controlling levels of harmful chemicals in our food and much more.

Incidents fall broadly into two categories:

  • contamination of food or animal feed in processing, distribution, retail and catering, resulting in action to withdraw the food from sale or recall it from the public, and
  • environmental pollution incidents such as fires, chemical/ oil spills and radiation leaks, which may involve voluntary or statutory action (e.g. orders made under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985).

Preventing incidents is important for protecting consumers' interests, ensuring food standards and safety and maintaining trust in the food chain.

More on this topic

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Food Crime

The Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit (SFCIU) includes the investigations and intelligence gathering arms of Food Standards Scotland (FSS).

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Food incidents

A food incident occurs when there are concerns about threats to the safety or quality of food and/or feed.

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Food Crime

Food crime can involve selling food or drink that has been tampered with, or using cheaper ingredients than the ones listed on the label.

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