New Online Food Complaint Tool Launched

Vincent Arbuckle

With 93 recalls so far this year and 154 over 2021, New Zealand Food Safety is having another busy year recalling potentially harmful food to keep it out of consumers’ hands.

There have been a wide range of reasons for recalls this year from chocolate with Salmonella contamination to plastic pieces discovered in cookies. New Zealand Food Safety deputy director general Vincent Arbuckle said recalls are a sign the system is working to protect people.

“Food businesses do a lot of work to monitor their own systems to make sure everything is working as it should. In addition to this, complaints from the public remain an important way to gather information about potential risks.

“Consumers play an important role in the food safety system – by making a complaint, you are helping to keep your communities safe. If you notice something that isn’t right, we encourage you to let us know so we can get to the bottom of it."

Arbuckle noted that for the most part, businesses achieve good standards of food safety and work with NZFS to remove any unsafe or non-compliant food to prevent it becoming a bigger issue.

“Of course, there will be some food safety issues which go unreported. Keeping this in mind, we’ve made it easier for people to alert us about potential problems through our new online tool.”

Through a series of drop-down menus people are invited to provide New Zealand Food Safety with specific and useful information. It includes guidance on what complaints can be made online and which ones should be sent to a local authority, to help ensure any alerts on food safety risks are sent to the right contact.

Anyone that completes an online form, will be contacted by a Food Compliance Officer, who will begin a review and triage process.

“Consumers should feel reassured that whatever the reason, if something unusual has happened or been found, even if it seems a ‘one-off’, their reporting helps keep food consumption safe for everyone.”

Access the online tool on the NZFS website: Make a food complaint | NZ Government (