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homeThursday 23rd March 2017

Raw milk food poisoning in Lake District

Katie Coye11/01/2017 - 16:14

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Outbreak linked to raw milk
Outbreak linked to raw milk

Investigations are ongoing into eight confirmed food poisoning cases and 57 probables in South Lakeland, Cumbria, linked to raw milk.

The local council and FSA is looking into eight cases of campylobacter that have been linked to drinking unpasteurised milk at Low Sizergh Barn Farm, Kendal.

Experts believe the outbreak is most likely to have started from a vending machine at the farm site, which voluntarily suspended sales of raw milk and is helping with the investigation.

Environmental Health Officers from South Lakeland District Council are investigating with the FSA, which is heading up the project.

A spokesperson for the council said: ‘The number of confirmed cases is small but it is important that we let people know about the situation in case others have been affected.’

They added that the FSA is, ‘working to ensure measures are in place to prevent the public consuming unsafe products. Unpasteurised milk was removed from sale at the premises as soon as the cambylobacter results were confirmed.’

An FSA spokesperson said: ‘Sales of raw milk by the business can resume once there have been three consecutive sets of negative test results, each a week apart. The FSA’s first priority is to ensure public safety and we have acted with the other enforcement bodies to make sure that consumers are protected.’

While the famer voluntarily removed milk from sale when the probable link was found, the FSA did then put a formal prohibition order in place.

A statement released by the FSA at the start of the incident said: ‘Long-standing FSA advice has been that vulnerable people - that’s older people, infants, children, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems - are particularly vulnerable to food poisoning and that is why these groups should not be consuming raw drinking milk because it has not been heat treated.’

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK and the bacteria is usually found on raw or undercooked meat, unpasteurised milk, and untreated water. The incubation period is usually between two and five days but can be as long as ten days.

Symptoms usually last less than a week and include abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea and, sometimes, vomiting. While not serious in adults it can be serious in the very young, or old, and those with certain health conditions.

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