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How to File a Consumer Complaint Against Adulteration of Food?

Online Legal India LogoBy Rima Kundu Published On 28 May 2022 Category Consumer Complaint

Have you ever purchased food that was stale, worm-infested, or contaminated? If that's the case, what measures to take to make sure it doesn’t happen again? Most of us are confronted with food safety problems at some point, but only a few of us take action. While food safety is of paramount significance in other nations, consumers in India are unaware of their rights in this area. As a result, when food safety regulations are broken, they do not react quickly enough. 


When food is contaminated or adulterated, it not only reduces the nutritional content of the product, but it also causes illnesses and health risks. That is why it is critical for food enterprises to adhere to the FSSAI's food safety rules. You can file a consumer complaint if you find any adulterations in your food. Know more about it in this article.

What is the definition of adulterated food?

Any food item may be considered adulterated under Section 2(A) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, if:

  • It contains any product that could harm the user's health
  • It is processed in such a way that it is harmful to the user's health
  • It has a cheaper product added to it, which has a negative impact on the user's health
  • Any product employed in its production has been shown to have a negative impact on the user, jeopardising its quality


Adulterated food is defined as any ingredient in solid, liquid, or gaseous form that, when mixed with or removed from a food product, renders the final result unhealthy or harmful to a user's health.


Food Safety Objectives

  • Protection against potentially hazardous food products
  • The prevention of sale of substandard provision restaurants  
  • Consumer interests are safeguarded
  • Food fraud should be avoided at all costs


Under the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act, 1954, anyone who produces, stores, imports for sale, or distributes any product of food that is adulterated or misbranded is subject to imprisonment and a fine.


Prevention of Food Adulteration

As per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, the following fines are imposed on the violation of rules 

  • If proven guilty, any individual who sells any item that is not as per the consumer's demand or provision faces a maximum fine of 5 lakh rupees
  • A penalty is imposed on anybody who manufactures, stores, sells, distributes, or imports any substandard food item, any food item containing rotting matter, or any item stored in unsanitary conditions
  • A fine of up to 3 lakh rupees could be imposed on anyone who makes, stores, distributes, or imports any misbranded food-related product in violation of the Act's requirements
  • Anyone who makes a misleading advertisement that misrepresents food quality or gives consumers false guarantees could face a fine of up to ten lakh rupees
  • If someone distributes a non-serious adulterant, they could face a fine of up to 1 lakh rupees, but if the adulterant is hazardous to one's health, the fine could be as high as 10 lakh rupees
  • Anyone who breaks any of the Food Safety and Standards Act's laws could face a fine of up to 2 lakh rupees


Problems that Occur Frequently

  • Foods and beverages that contain worms, insects, dust particles, or fungus
  • Ghee and milk are examples of dairy products that have been tampered with
  • Spices or spice powders that have been tampered with
  • Expired packaged food are being sold


Complaints that a customer can make

  • Food that has gone bad is being sold
  • Food with dust, insects, worms, or fungus
  • Adulteration in any kind
  • Inadequate packaging
  • There is insufficient/incomplete/incorrect information on the food label
  • Commercials that are deceptive
  • There is no information about the maker or marketer's address
  • There is no list of potentially dangerous components, such as MSG


What is the procedure for filing a complaint?

If someone learns of or witnesses a company, hotel, or individual participating in, assisting, or perpetrating food contamination, they have the right to make a complaint.


  • Manufacturer/Restaurateur/Business Owner/Employer
  • The district commissioner of the Local Health Authority/Food Safety Authority
  • Forum for Consumers

Any of the three levels of government can contact the Consumer Forum: district, state, or national. The complaints filed in this manner will have original jurisdiction at the district level, as well as appellate jurisdiction at the state or federal level.


Consumers can reach out to the FSSAI via an online portal known as the 'Food Safety Voice.' This portal allows users to file consumer complaints about contaminated, inferior, or hazardous food, as well as bad labelling and misleading food advertisements.


  • This website also allows you to make an online complaint
  • You can also use the Food Connect app, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, to make a complaint
  • Select the appropriate category once you've arrived at the website or app: Premises or Packaged Food
  • Determine the problem
  • Describe the problem using relevant images
  • Make a formal complaint



A lot of people tend to not complain about unhealthy food problems, as they are unaware of the procedures and legalities involved. Online Legal India can help you in filing your consumer complaint against adulteration of food in an easy manner. Now you just need to raise your voice to get justice with our help.

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