A fad for drinking raw, unpasteurised milk, is to blame for a food poisoning outbreak, say officials. Low Sizergh Barn Farm, in the popular tourist spot of Kendal in the Lake District, Cumbria, has won a string of tourism and National Trust awards for selling untreated milk.
It is a trend which has migrated across the Atlantic from the US to the UK. But now, six people have fallen ill after consuming the ready to drink, untreated milk.
The firm uses the slogan From Moo To You to sell the milk which is not just fresh from the farm, but fresh from the udder. It is purchased by people who use special dispensers at the popular Lake District farm shop.
Officials at South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) say that half a dozen people have been struck down by campylobacter bacteria, after drinking raw milk from the farm. The council says a joint investigation has now been launched alongside the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Commonly found in raw meat, particularly poultry, the bacteria frequently causes sickness and diarrhoea.
Currently, the conditions of the six people have not been made public, and it is not known if any of them had to be taken to hospital. The FSA has now issued a warning about the fad, saying that the elderly, vulnerable and children should never drink raw milk which has not been heat treated to get rid of bacteria.
The farm says it is cooperating with the probe and has suspended sales of the milk from its vending machines while the investigation continues.
The latest food poisoning bout follows research which was carried out in America, finding out that people who consumed raw milk were 100 times more likely to suffer from food poisoning than those who drank heat treated versions.