Food Labelling and Composition

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: Is it illegal for a shop to have out-of-date food on display?

Answer: It is against the law to display or sell food that has gone beyond its ''use-by'' date. This is because ''use-by'' dates are placed on highly perishable foods, such as cooked meat, which could cause food poisoning if consumed after the date code has expired.
Less perishable items, such as frozen food, cakes, cereals and canned food carry a ''best before'' date. This code indicates when food is in its best condition. It is not an offence to sell food beyond its ''best before'' date. However, it is against the law to sell food that has deteriorated to the extent that it has become unfit to eat, and this can occur with products that have gone beyond their ''best before'' date.


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Question: How does the Council keep a check on the food sold on the Isle of Wight?

Answer: 1. Through a rolling programme of inspections
2. Through complaints received by the public
3. From Food Alerts issued by the Government
4. Targeted inspections.
5. From results of random or targeted sampling initiatives.
To contact the Council about a food complaint: write/visit/phone or e-mail us at: Jubilee Stores, The Quay, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 2EH/ (01983) 823000/ eh@iow.gov.uk

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Question: What should I do if I find insects or foreign bodies in my food?

Answer: Keep the food and insects/foreign body and bring them into Environmental Health at Jubilee Stores, Newport. An Officer will look at the complaint and decide the most appropriate course of action. The complaint matter should be kept in a suitable container to prevent loss or further damage.

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Question: How can I make a complaint about an item of food I have bought?

Answer: You can contact Environmental Health (Tel: 01983 823000 or send an e-mail to eh@iow.gov.uk) Give relevant details and an officer will call you back to discuss the complaint with you and advise on the most appropriate course of action. Alternatively you could bring it to our offices at Jubilee Stores, The Quay, Newport, Isle of Wight. If the complaint item is a foreign body (e.g. piece of hair, insect) please bring it AND the food in which it was found. If you have a receipt for the food item so much the better,


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Question: Does the Isle of Wight Council have a food sampling programme?

Answer: Yes it does. Environmental Health takes part in local and national surveys when specified foods are sampled and tested for harmful bacteria, or for levels of bacteria which may not be harmful but indicate poor handling or storage conditions. Samples are also taken to check if other harmful substances are present in food or to see if the ingredients match the label.


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