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Common food concerns

Food sold after 'use by' date

Possible public health risk. Contact the food safety and trading standards team.

Food sold after its 'best before' date

Unlikely to be a public health risk. 

Misleading labelling

Contact the food safety and trading standards team.

Wrong price

Contact the retailer.


Meat products may contain small bones, skin, hair or blood vessels - although these are unsightly they are unlikely to cause a health hazard.

Chicken legs sometimes turn red when cooked due to a natural pigment being released, giving the appearance of being uncooked. There is no health risk if the chicken is adequately cooked.


Luminous bacteria sometimes make fish appear to glow - this does not mean the seafood is unsafe or of low quality.

Codworms - or small brownish-yellow worms in the flesh that live on white fish - are harmless to humans and will be killed by cooking.

During the canning process hard crystals may develop that may be mistaken for glass. They are not harmful and will be broken down by stomach acids. If you want to check the crystals are not glass put them in vinegar and heat - the crystals will dissolve, the glass will not.

Fresh fruit and vegetables

Slugs, snails and greenfly on your food are not a health risk to the public.

Mould will naturally grow when fruit and vegetables are damaged, bruised or stored for too long. Check produce before purchase and use it before it has a chance to grow mould - dispose of any that is mouldy.

Canned food

Dented, damaged or incorrectly processed cans may cause mould. You should avoid buying damaged cans. If you find mould in a damaged can you should return it to the retailer. 

If you discover mould in an undamaged can you should contact the food safety and trading standards team..

Insects may be harvested with fruit and vegetables - they are killed and sterilised by the canning process so are not a risk to the public.

Dried foods

Insects may infest dried products, like flour, sugar and pulses. They are not a health risk to the public but can spread quickly - dispose of any infested packages and thoroughly clean the affect cupboards. Store dried goods in airtight containers whenever possible.

Chocolate and sweets

Chocolate may develop a light-coloured bloom if stored at too high a temperature. Although this is not harmful you may want to contact the retailer.

Large crystals may form on confectionery and can be mistaken for glass. If you want to check the crystals are not glass, put them in warm water - the crystals will dissolve, the glass will not.


If wine is kept at too low a temperature it may develop tartrate crystals - they are not harmful but you may want to filter the wine to remove them.

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