31 sick: More than just an ‘upset tummy’ Another petting zoo, another E. coli /crypto outbreak

An outbreak of E.coli and parasitic disease cryptosporidiosis at a Leeds petting farm has led to more than 30 people falling ill.

swithens.farm.2Public health experts have launched an investigation into the outbreak, which has been linked to Swithens Farm, in Rothwell, Leeds.

A total of 29 cases of cryptosporidiosis have so far been confirmed.

Two cases of E. coli O157 have also been reported. All those affected visited Swithens Farm from the beginning of March onwards.

Public Health England (PHE) has been drafted in to deal with the issue and the owners of the farm voluntarily closed the facility for a period after the outbreak became apparent.

The petting farm has since reopened and its owners say “every effort is being taken to ensure that visitors are not put at risk.”

Dr Mike Gent, consultant in communicable disease control with Public Health England, said, “People may be tempted to use hand gels and wipes during a farm visit and after touching animals but, although they remove visible dirt and contamination, they may not be effective in removing the germs found on farms.”

Ian and Angela Broadhead, who run Swithens Farm, have released a statement explaining that they are working with the council after becoming aware that “there have been some children with upset stomachs.”

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-5-5-16.xlsx

UK Chinese restaurant fined £5,000 for filthy conditions

The owner of a Chinese restaurant in Leeds city centre has been fined for filthy kitchen conditions.

obmLai Hong Cheong, director of OBM on New York Street, pleaded guilty to five food hygiene offences at Leeds Magistrates Court earlier this week.

She was ordered to pay £5,000 after the court heard the restaurant had posed a risk of harm to the public.

Environmental health officers visited the restaurant in June last year and found dirty and broken equipment, including a tin opener caked with food and dirt, potentially contaminating food.

Risk of contamination also came from dirty surfaces, and staff had nowhere to hygienically dry their hands.