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E. coli O157 outbreak linked to raw milk

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock/nathaphat
Picture: iStock/nathaphat

Related tags: Raw milk, Escherichia coli

An outbreak of E. coli O157 has been linked to raw (unpasteurised) milk from an Isle of Wight farm.

There have been four confirmed infections and an additional three cases have developed Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). HUS may lead to kidney failure.

Public Health England South East’s Hampshire and Isle of Wight Health Protection team said drinking raw milk from Briddlesford Lodge Farm is the source of infection.

All four cases have recovered and the three with HUS are in hospital receiving treatment.

Affected raw milk has not entered the sales chain since 25 September.

Dr Ishani Kar-Purkayastha, consultant in communicable disease control for PHE South East, said steps have been taken to prevent the spread of infection including hygiene and safety measures.

“As an added precaution we, along with the environmental health team and the Food Standards Agency, are asking anyone who has raw milk purchased from Briddlesford Farm on, or before Monday, 25 September 2017 to either return it to the farm or dispose of it. This includes raw milk that may have been frozen for future use.”

The owners of Briddlesford, three generations of the Griffin family, said they had removed raw milk from sale at the farm.

“We have always closely followed local authority and Food Standards Agency guidance on minimising this type of risk, and we have also put extra controls in place as soon as we were notified of a potential problem.

“We want families to enjoy learning about the farm and we are saddened to think that something has gone so wrong.

“Our pasteurised milk is a safe product to drink and meets all quality and hygiene standards. All of our cheeses are made from pasteurised milk and are safe to eat and meet all quality and hygiene standards.”

The owners added they have done everything possible to prevent further cases.

Professor Guy Poppy, chief scientific adviser at the FSA, said unpasteurised milk may contain bacteria that cause food poisoning because it has not been heat treated.

“Long standing FSA advice has been that older people, infants, children, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems, who are more vulnerable to food poisoning, should not consume raw drinking milk.”

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Fresh Milk

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