Raw milk probe after children struck with E coli

A Devon dairy farm is recalling a raw milk product after two children were struck down with the potentially fatal E coli infection.

The children, aged 10 and 12, fell ill with E coli 0157 infection two weeks ago.

Both children had drunk Barton Farm Dairy’s Raw Cow’s Drinking Milk.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is recalling all sizes of the product due to a potential link to E coli 0157.

The dairy company’s bosses have stressed there is no confirmation that the children became ill due to drinking the milk.

Farm owner Linda Wright said: “As far as we know the children contracted E coli, but we don’t know if it is from our milk.

“As a precautionary measure, the FSA has issued a product recall information notice.”

“We drink the milk all the time ourselves and we have got lots of other customers that drink it as well. Nobody else has ever reported being ill.”

She added: “It is of great concern, especially as there are children involved. At the moment, there is no confirmation that it has come from our milk.”

“As far as we know the children contracted E coli, but we don’t know if it is from our milk.”
Linda Wright, Barton Farm Dairy

Mrs Wright said the farm’s raw milk is tested every other day by its milk buyer OMSCo and tested regularly by the FSA.

Barton Farm Dairy is a 57ha (140 acres) organic dairy farm set in the in Kentisbury, Barnstaple, in the rolling hills of north Devon.

Gary and Linda Wright have been dairy farming for 23 years and producing raw milk for the past three years. The farm has 130 milk producing Holstein, Guernsey and Jersey cows.

The couple has urged customers who have bought any Raw Cow’s Drinking Milk products not to consume them. Instead they should contact the dairy on 01271 882 283 or email info@bartonfarmdairy.co.uk for further advice.

The FSA said in a statement: “If you have bought this product, do not consume it. The FSA has issued a product recall information notice.”

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurised or homogenised.

According to FSA figures, there has not been reported illnesses associated with drinking raw milk in the UK since 2002. Since then, in excess of 10m litres has been consumed.

However, opponents insist that the pasteurisation of milk is necessary because it eliminates many health risks in milk, especially tuberculosis and brucellosis and deadly pathogens such as E coli and salmonella.

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