What To Do If You Have A Problem With Food Products
- A. Your hot dog has a strip of plastic inside.
- B. The canned chili contains a metal washer.
- C. You think a restaurant dinner made you ill.
- D. A sugarcoated roach was in your box of cereal.
What Can You Do?
- For help with meat, poultry and egg products (examples a and b):
Call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-800-535-4555.
- For help with restaurant food problems (example c):
Contact the Coppell Environmental Health Department by email or call 972-462-5164.
- For help with non-meat food products (example d):
For complaints about food products which do not contain meat or poultry(such as cereal)call or write to the Food And Drug Administration (FDA). Check your local phone book under U.S. Government, Health and Human Services, to find an FDA office in your area. The FDA's Seafood Hotline is: 1-800-332-4010.
In order for the USDA to investigate a problem with meat, poultry, or egg products, you must have:
- the original container or packaging;
- the foreign object ( the plastic strip or metal washer, for example); and
- any uneaten portions of the food (refrigerate or freeze it).
Information you should be ready to tell the Hotline on the phone includes:
- your name, address, and phone number;
- the brand name, product name and manufacturer of the product;
- the size and package type
- can or package code (not UPC bar codes) and dates;
- establishment number (EST) usually found in the circle or shield near the USDA passed and inspected" phrase;
- name and location of the store and the date you purchased the product.
- You can complain to the store or the products manufacturer if you do not choose to make a formal complaint to the USDA.
If You Think You Are Ill, See A Physician
If an injury or illness allegedly resulted from use of a meat or poultry product, you will also need to tell the hotline staff about the type, symptoms, time of occurrence and name of attending health professional (if applicable).
- If you can't reach the Hotline staff, or if an injury or illness allegedly resulted from restaurant food, call your local health department.
- If an injury or illness allegedly resulted from non-meat food products, call or write to the FDA.