The following are typical food complaints, with a short explanation and suggestions for the most suitable course of action: Tinned Foods Field Insects Insects that live naturally in fields may be harvested along with the fruit and vegetables. Whilst food companies take steps to remove these insects, some will slip through the net. These insects and grubs are killed and sterilised by the canning process. As the use of pesticides decreases, the incidence of these pests will increase. Risk: no public health risk. Action: contact retailer. Wasps and fruit flies These are common in tins of fruit. They are naturally associated with ripe fruit and do not carry disease. Risk: no public health risk. Action: contact retailer. Mould Dented, damaged or incorrectly processed tins may allow mould growth to occur. This could indicate an error in production or storage. Risk: possible public health risk. Action: contact Environmental Health and Trading Standards. Fish Codworm White fish such as cod or haddock may be infested with a small, round brownish yellow worm. These are found in the flesh. They are killed by the cooking process and are harmless to humans. The infected parts of the fish are usually cut away, but some may be overlooked. Risk: no public health risk. Action: contact retailer. Glass-like crystals Certain naturally occurring elements commonly found in fish may develop into hard crystals during the canning processing. These crystals may be mistaken for glass fragments and are called struvite. They are not harmful and will be broken down by stomach acids if swallowed. It is especially common in tinned salmon. Struvite crystals will dissolve if placed in vinegar and gently heated - glass will not. Risk: no public health risk. Action: if struvite contact retailer if glass contact Environmental Health and Trading Standards. Vegetables and fruits Stones, soil and slugs Fruit and vegetables commonly have soil, stones or small slugs attached to them. This is quite normal as they originate in the soil. Risk: no public health risk. Action: wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly. Greenfly Salad vegetables, especially lettuce, may have greenfly attached. This is becoming increasingly common as the use of pesticides decreases. Greenfly can be difficult to wash off but they are not harmful. In fact, they demonstrate that the salad is fresh. Risk: no public health risk. Action: no action required. Mould Mould growth will naturally occur when fruit and vegetables become damaged and bruised, or if stored for too long. We recommend that you check produce carefully before purchasing. Risk: no public health risk. Action: dispose of mouldy produce. Chocolate or confectionery Bloom Chocolate may develop a light coloured bloom if stored at too high a temperature. It is not mould but is due to fat separation. It is not harmful. Risk: no public health risk. Action: contact retailer. Crystals Large crystals may form in confectionery and may be mistaken for glass. The crystal will dissolve in warm water. Risk: no public health risk. Action: contact retailer. Bakery goods Bakery char Bread and cakes may contain bits of over-cooked dough which has flaked off bakery tins. It is not necessarily an indicator of poor hygiene. However it is sometimes mistaken for rodent droppings. No public health risk. Action: if bakery char contact retailer. If you think it may be rodent droppings contact Environmental Health and Trading Standards. Carbonised grease The machinery used to produce bread and cakes is lubricated with a non-toxic vegetable oil. Occasionally some may become incorporated into dough giving areas of the product a grey or greasy appearance. Risk: no public health risk. Action: contact retailer. Dried foods Insects Insects like beetles and weevils may infest dried products such as flour, sugar and pulses if these foods are stored for too long. These do not carry disease, but they breed very quickly in warm, humid conditions, and so spread into uncontaminated food very quickly. Risk: no public health risk. Action: do not use an insecticide because of the danger of contaminating your food. Dispose of all visibly infested packages in an outside waste bin and thoroughly clean your food cupboards using a vacuum cleaner, paying particular attention to crevices. Immediately after use, dispose of the vacuum cleaner contents in an outside waste bin. Store new dried goods in airtight containers and ensure good ventilation in storage areas. Meat Skin and bones Products made from meat and/or poultry may contain small bones, skin, hair, bristles or parts of blood vessels. These are unsightly but rarely a health hazard, as they are normal parts of the original animal. Risk: no public health risk. Action: contact retailer.