• How to File a USDA Foods Complaint


    The FNS Food Distribution Division monitors complaints about USDA Foods and coordinates the resolution of health hazards with the FNS Office of Food Safety for States, Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs), and recipient agencies participating in any of the Food Distribution Programs (FDP).


    USDA Foods Complaint Procedures for a Local Recipient Agency:

    If you are a Recipient Agency that received USDA Foods from one of USDA's nutrition assistance programs and would like to file a complaint about food or service issues, please contact your State Distributing Agency (SDA) by program or Indian Tribal Organization (ITO) for a contact person and name on the State Contacts List or ITO Contacts List.

    To assist your SDA in processing the complaint more quickly, provide the following information:

    ·         Material Number/Food Code

    ·         Can and Case Codes

    ·         Description of the problem and whether anyone reported feeling sick or being injured from consuming the product

    ·         Date your organization received the affected USDA Foods

    ·         Quantity of product involved (affected)

    ·         Quantity and physical address of product remaining and if the remaining product is affected or not

    ·         Sales Order Number and Purchase Order Number.  These numbers may be on the paperwork received with the USDA Foods shipment. If not, the SDA should be able to obtain them.

    ·         The specific circumstances involved (for example - I received the damaged canned products 2 months ago, but the cases were located in the middle of a pallet that could not be seen until the school opened the cases. Or, the temperature in the delivery truck was 40 degrees when the discolored frozen products were delivered.)

    ·         In some instances, digital photographs of damaged product or foreign objects are helpful.

    ·         If you are requesting a replacement, you should retain the unopened product, until further notice from the USDA Foods Complaint Specialist at Food and Nutrition Service, so that the vendor can exercise his right to examine or retrieve the product.

    Food and Nutrition Service is committed to improving the quality of the USDA Foods provided to Recipient Agencies.  It is important that USDA Foods complaints are submitted in a timely matter in order to resolve any current problems and prevent problems from reoccurring.