Food alerts

The Food Standards Agency issues food alerts and allergy alerts to warn about possible problems with food.

The alert may be because of a potential contamination - such as food poisoning bacteria or foreign objects from machinery or production faults. Allergy alerts warn about ingredients that are possible allergens and are not mentioned on the label.

You can register to receive food and allergy alerts by email or text, or see the latest alerts on the Food Standards Agency website.

What happens when a food alert is issued?

When a food alert is issued, food businesses normally remove the affected product from sale voluntarily. If a food company does not voluntarily withdraw the product then enforcement action may be taken.

When we receive an alert we notify all relevant local businesses either in person, by telephone, letter or press release, depending on the urgency of the alert. Enforcement action will be taken if necessary to remove the food from the supply chain.

Do I have to contact you if I have food included in a food alert?

Not always - there will be details in the alert and you may just be able to dispose of it or return it to the place you bought it. If in any doubt, do not use the product and contact us for further advice.

Food business obligations – food withdrawals and recalls

By law, food businesses must withdraw food from the market if it is harmful to health, unfit for people to eat or does not meet legal requirements.

Contact us straight away if your business withdraws a food product - call us on 01246 345345 or email

If you believe that unsafe food may have reached consumers, tell the Food Standards Agency incidents team straight away. They will issue a recall is necessary.

Last updated on 27 January 2021