Dairy farmers who produced organic ice cream using milk from cows that tested positive for bovine TB have been fined.
Sarah Talbot-Ponsonby and Frederica Allen admitted a string of food safety breaches concerning their dairy farming business at Helsett Farm in Boscastle, Cornwall.
At Bodmin Magistrates Court on Friday (15 May) they were fined £1,670 each and told to each pay courts costs of £3,750
The Food Standards Agency and Cornwall Council prosecuted the mother and daughter for failing to discard raw milk from cows that had tested positive for TB – and selling their raw milk without a licence.
Mrs Allen, 43, admitted three counts of breaching food safety regulations and one breach of food hygiene regulations.
Mrs Talbot-Ponsonby, 75, admitted two breaches of food safety regulations and one breach of food hygiene regulations.
According to the Helsett Farm website, the family’s herd of pedigree Ayrshire cows produce organic milk that is turned into home-made ice cream that is sold by the like of Harrods and Selfridges.
Barry White, prosecuting on behalf of the Food Standards Agency and Cornwall Council, told the court Mrs Allen allowed milk from cows that tested positive for bovine TB to enter the bulk tank, which was then used for making ice cream.
Mrs Talbot-Ponsonby then “failed to get those products back from the human food chain” once the “mistake” was realised.
The court heard the 121ha Helsett Farm, with a dairy herd of about 70, had never been registered to sell raw cow’s milk, the BBC reported.
Mr White said: “Years and years ago when everybody drank unpasteurised milk, thousands of people used to die every year.”
In mitigation the court heard the offences represented a series of errors that had been “disastrous” for the family.