No kisses for Little Bo-Peep

6th June 2003 at 01:00
THE lamb may be the most alluring creature on four legs. Sweet curls, cuddly, engaging even, but it should most definitely not be snogged on a school visit.

If you kiss an animal, you might catch the potentially deadly E.coli 0157, warns the latest health and safety advice for primary schools visiting farms this summer term.

So that's one fun activity vetoed then. And so is another favourite of very young kids.

"Never eat food which has fallen to the ground, or taste animal foods," the Health and Safety Executive advises.

That lovely bunch of silage just waiting to be munched is ruled out. And so is more mundane fayre such as crisps and sweets.

You never know what you might have been touching and then stick your hands in your mouth, warns the HSE.

Another old farm favourite - manure or slurry touching - is equally frowned on, as is climbing on to animal pens. Pens, of the writing variety, should not be sucked during visits.

The answer to E.coli avoidance is, of course, strict hygiene by washing hands thoroughly. Where there's muck . . .

"E.coli 0157 schools information pack" is being dispatched to schools and is available on the Scottish Executive website.

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