New cases linked to E coli farm

The number of people who have contracted E coli in an outbreak linked to a farm in Surrey has increased by five.

The Health Protection Agency said 45 people are now being treated for the virus, which is believed to have come from Godstone Farm near Redhill.

The farm was shut down on Saturday 12 September after 40 visitors became ill with E coli 0157.

The attraction’s sister farm, Horton Park Children’s Farm in Epsom closed on Thursday (17 September) following concerns over hygiene.

Officials said Horton Park had not had any E coli cases but there were concerns hygeince arrangements were unsatisfactory.

“The HPA advised the local authority that the farm should be closed immediately while these defects were rectified,” a HPA spokeswoman said.The owners of the two farms said the premises would remain closed until everything had been done to eliminate or reduce any potential risk to customers and friends.

Organisations promoting farm visits have stressed that E coli outbreaks are extremely rare provided that biosecurity guidelines are followed.