Cumbria

Raw milk sale returns at Kendal farm hit by food poisoning

Low Sizergh Barn Farm raw milk vending machine
Image caption The farm sold about 70 litres of raw milk a day from a vending machine installed in early 2016

A Cumbrian farm that was forced to stop selling raw milk after customers suffered from food poisoning, has been given the all clear by officials.

Sales of unpasteurised milk at Low Sizergh Barn Farm in Kendal were halted in December when 16 cases of campylobacter were confirmed.

Sales have since been allowed to resume after the farm changed its water supply and cleaning methods.

Owner Richard Park said he had been "devastated" to learn people were ill.

Those who became ill had bought the milk from a vending machine at the farm.

The farm was not allowed to resume sales until March when three consecutive rounds of sampling showed the contamination had been eliminated.

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning and can lead to severe diarrhoea and vomiting.

Image caption Unpasteurised milk is sold from a vending machine at the farm

Those affected ranged in age from a one-year-old to an 86-year-old.

A joint statement from the Food Standards Agency, Public Health England and South Lakeland District Council said: "The various agencies have worked with the business to address issues that may have contributed to the recent food poisoning outbreak.

"This was a significant outbreak, with 16 confirmed cases of campylobacter food poisoning linked to the consumption of raw milk at these premises.

"Advice remains that unpasteurised, or 'raw', milk may contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning because it has not been heat treated, and that vulnerable people - that's older people, infants, children, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems - should not consume raw drinking milk.''

A farm spokesman said: "It was devastating to know that several people contracted the bacteria and we are hugely sorry that this has happened.

"Changes have been made to our water supply, the milking parlour pipe work and the chemicals we use in the cleaning regime."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites