Service standards

Whether you are a consumer or business, the Food Standards Agency is committed to providing you with a helpful, courteous and efficient service. Our standards set out the level of service you can expect from us.

General enquiries

If you contact us by letter, fax or email we will:

  • Try to answer the questions you ask or explain why we can't.
  • Reply as soon as possible, but in any event we will aim to send you a full reply within 20 working days of receiving your letter, fax or email. If we can't meet this target, we will let you know why and let you know when you will get a full reply.

If you contact us by telephone we will:

  • Aim to answer your call within 30 seconds.
  • Attempt to resolve your enquiry at first point of contact or explain why we can't. If we cannot, we will try and transfer you to a colleague who can deal with your enquiry. If we can’t transfer you we will try to give you the name and telephone number of someone who can help you.

In person

If you want to see us at our offices, we would be grateful if you could make an appointment. If you have an appointment with a named person, they will see you within 10 minutes of the appointment. If you have not made an appointment, someone will see you within 30 minutes of your arrival. If we can't meet these targets, we will give you a full explanation of any delay.

Letting you know who we are

We will identify ourselves by name in all correspondence, on the telephone and in face-to-face contact with you. Where appropriate, we will also wear name badges or provide name plates at meetings we organise.

Freedom of Information Request

Once the FSA receives a request for information, we will handle it as soon as is practicable, and in any event will respond within 20 working days of receiving the request.


If you write to us with a complaint, we will acknowledge your letter within two working days of receiving it. We will write to you with a full reply within 20 working days of receiving your complaint or, if this is not possible, we will explain why and say when you will get a full reply.