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An anonymous complaint with an authority on food safety

"Activities at company x pose a threat to food safety!"

What do you do if somebody tries to damage your company’s reputation by filing an anonymous complaint with the authorities? It happened to several of our members…


An authority wishes to inspect a (production) site on the basis of an anonymous complaint. There are activities on the site that supposedly ‘pose a threat to food safety’. The company is in the dark about the anonymous source. Is it a competitor, somebody who lost a tender, a local resident or perhaps a disgruntled employee?



First Line – an unexpected visit by an authority

Ensure that first line employees know what to do when the authorities stop by so they can provide proper access to the company. This ensures transparent and professional collaboration with the authorities.


Crisis Management Team – the motivation of the source

Try to understand the motives of the anonymous source so you can correctly assess the situation.


Authority – possible actions after an anonymous complaint:

Normally, the authority takes every complaint seriously and verifies whether the complaint is justified. This check can be carried out immediately or whenever possible. Reports by an employee of a former employee are – generally – given the lowest priority.

Food Security helps its members by: