Prosecutions over E.coli outbreak at East Lancs store not ruled out

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: The organisation is among the agencies involved after 14 cases of E.coli 0157 were confirmed at Huntley’s between March 29 and April 24. The organisation is among the agencies involved after 14 cases of E.coli 0157 were confirmed at Huntley’s between March 29 and April 24.

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing after an E.coli outbreak in East Lancashire.

However, Public Health England has said that it was too early to say whether prosecutions would be brought against the owners of Huntley’s Country Store in Samlesbury.

The organisation is among the agencies involved after 14 cases of E.coli 0157 were confirmed at Huntley’s between March 29 and April 24.

Four children under the age of ten are still in hospital while a fifth child has now been discharged.

Public Health England and environmental health officers from across Lancashire together with officials from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency are carrying out the investigation after visits to a lambing event which ran between March and April.

Public contact with animals has been suspended since the outbreak.

Public Health England announced last week that there was ‘no longer’ any risk to the public.

Ribble Valley Borough Council and South Ribble Borough Council are also working in conjunction with Public Health England.

The investigation comes two years after a petting farm in Bacup was closed down because of an E. coli risk.

Animal Quackers became the first such farm in the UK to be shut on public health grounds. It reopened shortly after with a clean bill of health.

Speaking after the first cases were confirmed, Huntley’s managing director Harry Wilson said everyone was distraught about the outbreak and wished the children a speedy and full recovery.

A spokeswoman from Public Health England said: “It’s too early to comment further about prosecutions but we have not ruled them out.

“Investigations are still on-going with various agencies.

“The number of cases has not risen since last week.”

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