Campylobactor outbreak linked to raw milk in Cumbria

Published: 6 Feb 2017

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK and is usually associated with poultry. In January, raw milk has been linked to a Campylobactor outbreak which had confirmed 8 positive cases and 57 probable cases. It has been reported that investigations are underway by the local council and Food Standards Agency.

The food poisoning has been linked to drinking unpasteurised milk at the Low Sizergh Barn Farm, Kendal. Experts believe that the likely source of the outbreak is linked to a vending machine at the farm site which voluntarily suspended the sale of raw milk.

Whilst the farmer voluntarily removed the milk from sale, the FSA then put a formal prohibition order in place.

The unpasteurised milk has been removed from sale at the premises as soon as the positive Campylobacter results were received. An FSA sales person confirmed that control measures are in place to prevent the public from consuming unsafe product.

It is understood that once 3 sets of negative sets of microbiological results are obtained, the premises will be allowed to resume the sale of raw milk.


Key information about Campylobactor

The bacteria is usually found:

  • on raw or undercooked meat
  • in unpasteurised milk
  • in untreated water

Incubation period:

  • The incubation period is usually between two and five days but can be as long as ten days.


  • Symptoms usually last less than a week and include abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea and, sometimes, vomiting. While not serious in adults it can be serious in the very young or old, and those with certain health conditions, including expectant mothers.


CSC’s top tips to reduce the risk of food poisoning:

  1. Personal hygiene – practice good hand washing procedures, especially after visiting the toilet, after touching animals, handling raw meats etc.
  2. Ensure that the wash hand basin is equipped with antibacterial hand soap, a supply of both hot and cold running water and a means to dry hands.
  3. Thorough cleaning of fruit and vegetables is critical to ensure that any loose soil and germs are removed.
  4. A good segregation system needs to be put in place to ensure that raw and cooked/ready to eat food items are stored separately.
  5. Ensure that food items, especially meat, are thoroughly cooked.

If you require any assistance with implementing/monitoring food safety standards to prevent the threat of food poisoning to your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.