Wash Hands Warning after Animal PettingPublished Friday, 02 May 2014
Ribble Valley residents are reminded to wash their hands after contact with livestock or wildlife.
Outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness associated with contact with farm animals peak in the spring and summer, when visits to petting farms increase.
Washing hands is particularly important after contact with animals, going to the toilet, handling raw meat products and always before eating.
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s head of environmental health, James Russell, said: “We want parents to follow strict hand-washing with their families when visiting petting farms or coming into contact with livestock. Although many parents carry alcohol gel, this should be in addition to hand-washing with soap and water, not a substitute.
“We don’t want to discourage farm visits, but people need to remember that a range of infections can be passed on through contact with animals unless care is taken to minimise the risk.
“It is very important for parents and children to make full use of washing facilities provided at open farms. They should wash their hands thoroughly after contact with animals, before eating and before putting fingers near their mouths.
“Ahead of the May bank holiday weekends, we urge Ribble Valley families to enjoy farm visits safely by ensuring good hand hygiene after having contact with farm animals or their surroundings.”