E.coli tests begin at Exmouth attraction

TESTS have started at Exmouth s World of Country Life amid fears of an E.coli outbreak at the site. The popular visitor attraction, in Sandy Bay Holiday Park, acted on advice from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and East Devon District Council last Fri

TESTS have started at Exmouth's World of Country Life amid fears of an E.coli outbreak at the site.

The popular visitor attraction, in Sandy Bay Holiday Park, acted on advice from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and East Devon District Council last Friday and decided to close its petting areas and deer train ride.

The precautionary measure was taken after three children who visited the farm while on holiday in Devon last month contracted the 0157 strain infection - the form which is dangerous to humans.

Staff from The Veterinary Investigation Laboratory started testing animals on Monday, September 21, to determine whether the form of E.coli exists at the site.


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Results are not expected to be known until at least the end of the week.

Nigel Lee, manager of the World of Country Life, said The Veterinary Investigation Laboratory had taken faeces samples from a number of animals including goats, sheep, chickens and a pig.

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He added: "We are still open and a majority of the site will continue to be regardless of the test results because the petting farm is only a small part of the business.

"We will continue to work closely with the Health Protection Agency's advice on the matter."

Environmental health officers from East Devon District Council will also visit this week to carry out tests on animals and to check cleanliness in public areas at a micro-biological level.

A spokesperson for EDDC said: "The hygiene and hand-washing arrangements appear to be very good and there is a very high level of awareness amongst the management of the routine precautions that should be taken."

We emphasise that this temporary closure of the animal access area is very much a precautionary measure.

The spokesperson said the results of the hygiene tests would be sent to the local microbiology department in Exeter and the results should be known within 48 hours.

It has yet to be confirmed The World of Country Life is the source for the three children contracting the infection.

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