E.coli O157 & Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

Prohibition notice served on animal park after failed inspection

10th October 2011

South Lakes Wild Animal Park in Dalton in Furness, Cumbria, was served with a prohibition notice under the Health and Safety at Work Act after failing an inspection carried out by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and Barrow Borough Councils Environmental Health Department on 18th August. Prohibition notices can only be served when an inspector believes activities on premises involve or will involve a risk of serious personal injury.

The inspection was carried out after the HPA was informed of a case of a child in Lancashire who was found to have contracted E.coli O157 after visiting the Dalton zoo in the summer. However, there has been no evidence that the visit was the direct cause as the child had spent the previous week in the Lake District and may have been exposed to other sources.

Inspectors found the zoo had failed to comply with new hygiene guidelines issued. The tourist attraction was ordered to stop letting people have contact with its animals until it had cleaned areas of the park and could provide hand washing facilities.

The council said the park has since been inspected and has been found to be complying with the notice, but it will be closely monitored to ensure hygiene standards do not drop.

Zoo owner David Gill said he had taken immediate action after the notice was issued by installing 30 new hand-washing areas. Soiled areas were cleaned and signs were put up to ensure members of the public wash their hands after petting the animals.

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