Health warning to Cheshire farm visitors
The Health Protection Agency North West are advising families to take particular care with hand washing after visiting petting farms and other attractions.
Farm visits are great fun and very educational for children but people need to be aware of the risks.
A number of infections can be contracted by stroking animals including salmonella and Ecoli, which can be particularly serious for children.
Jonathon Fell the director of Cheshire Ice Cream, Chester doesn't want people to be discouraged but just to take care.
'I think it's very important that people shouldn't be put off going to farms just through these things because it is something that is easily rendered if you have touched animals and you've washed your hands your in no danger.'
Some tips to follow to stay safe:
1. Check the hygiene facilities at the farm - there should be good handwashing facilities with hot water, soap and paper towels.
2. Always wash hands carefully after touching the animals and other farm objects and especially before eating and drinking.
3. Do not eat or drink or put your fingers in your mouth while you are near animals or before you have washed your hands.
4. If possible, thoroughly clean wellies and pushchair wheels before leaving the farm.