Barnsley Council, along with Public Health England, have recalled all of Oxspring-based Darwin’s Dairy products including all forms of its milk and cream.
Environmental health officers visited the dairy, at Whitefield Farm, Halifax Road, after Public Health England became aware of an increase in E.coli cases in South Yorkshire.
A total of 18 ‘confirmed or probable’ cases have been identified in people with links to Barnsley, Doncaster or Sheffield this month, while a statement issued by the council this week states nine of these cases are known to have consumed Darwin’s Dairy products before becoming unwell.
However, the statement said ‘it is important to be aware that the dairy has not been confirmed as the source of the outbreak at this stage’.
“As a precautionary measure, we have advised Darwin’s Dairy to recall all of its milk including whole, semi-skimmed and skimmed and cream products currently in circulation,” it added. “This became necessary after a potential processing problem was identified with the pasteurisation process that could have affected some milk and cream products that could still be stored in people’s fridges.
“The dairy is co-operating fully with our advice. If you have bought these products, do not eat or drink them but dispose of them.”
Owner Ben Darwin told the Chronicle the statement was unfairly issued and it had the potential to wipe out the long-running firm’s order book.
“Regarding the statement put out by Barnsley Council on a product recall, we would like to clarify that there is no confirmed link or evidence with the health issues highlighted in the council’s statement,” he said. “It’s pure speculation and I am deeply upset and frustrated that such a statement can be released without sufficient evidence.
"We strive to supply our loyal customers with a quality local product that is regularly tested to the highest standards required.”
* Recalled products can be identified by logos stating ‘A Darwin’, ‘Darwin’s Dairy’ or ’NP and DJ Darwin Ltd’. An oval mark bearing ‘UK YB006 EC’ can also be checked.