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Filing Complaints

For Consumer Protection Division (CPD) and Hazardous Materials Compliance Division (HMCD) complaints please call ​408-918-3400 or send us an email​ 

For Vector Control District (VCD) complaints please call 408-918-4770

What happens after I file a complaint?

  • An Environmental Health Specialist, Hazardous Materials Specialist or Vector Control Technician will make an unannounced visit to the facility. Any observations and health code violations will be documented in a report which is kept on file for two (2) years. These reports are public information and can be viewed at the appropriate DEH office. Remember: names, phone numbers, and addresses of complaining parties are kept confidential unless subpoenaed by a court of law.

What kind of complaints does the Department of Environmental Health Handle?

  • Food Safety:
    • We do investigate all complaints concerning retail food facilities. Retail food facilities are those places such as restaurants, bars, bakeries, and grocery stores that sell food and beverages directly to the consumer.
    • If you have a food poisoning complaint, please call our central office directly at 1-408-918-3400 between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. Due to the nature and complexity of our questions, we are unable to take this type of complaint over email. When calling in a food poisoning complaint, please be prepared to provide us with the following information:
      1. The name and address of the food facility.
      2. Your name and phone number as well as the names of others who ate with you.
      3. A count of those people with you who became ill and those who were not ill.
      4. Information about your illness: the time you ate; the time you became ill; the symptoms you experienced; and the length of time your illness lasted.
      5. List all the food and beverages that you and each person with you consumed.
      6. Whether you saw a physician and if you have any lab results.
    • We do not investigate complaints which involve the manufacturing and distribution of foods and beverages that are sold at the wholesale level. All wholesale, canned and other prepackaged foods, especially those containing meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products are handled by the State of California or the federal Food and Drug Administration. For products produced in California, contact the California Department of Health Services Food and Drug Branch (FDB) Consumer Complaint Hotline at 1-800-495-3232. For products produced outside of California, contact the federal Food and Drug Administration at 408-291-7548.
    • We do not investigate complaints unrelated to food safety such as level of service received.  These types of complaints are not within our legal jurisdiction and they should be directed to the food facility manager, owner, or corporate office.
  •  Swimming ​Pools & Spas:
    • We do inspect all swimming pools and spas at apartments, condos, hotels and motels, health clubs, schools, community associations, commercial buildings, trailer and mobile home parks, clubs, campgrounds, and water theme parks.
    • We do not inspect private pools or spas maintained by individuals for the use of family and friends.
  • Garbage and Trash:
    • We do handle garbage complaints in all restaurants and in residential or commercial lots in the unincorporated areas of the county.
    • We do not investigate garbage complaints in residential or commercial lots within city limits. These complaints are referred to the appropriate city code enforcement department.
  • Sewage Overflow:
    • We do respond to sewage overflow complaints in unincorporated areas of the county and from properties with septic tanks or seepage pits.
    • We do not investigate sewage overflow complaints in areas connected to sanitary sewers. These complaints are referred to the local city public works or code enforcement.
Last updated: 1/25/2018 5:03 PM