Visiting a farm is an enjoyable and educational experience for many people, particularly children. However, visiting a farm carries a small risk of catching infection from animals or the environment. Farm animals can be the source of several bugs that can be passed from animals to humans and cause illness. Some can be particularly serious for children or pregnant women.
People can follow simple hygiene steps to help reduce their risk:
- avoid touching faces or putting fingers in mouths while in farm environments
- don’t kiss farm animals or allow children to put their faces close to animals
- wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching animals, fences or other surfaces in animal areas
- don’t eat or drink while touching animals or walking round the farm and only eat and drink in picnic areas or cafes
- wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating or drinking
- remove and clean boots or shoes that might have become soiled and clean pushchair wheels then wash hands thoroughly with soap and water
- don’t use gels or wipes instead of washing hands with soap and water – fels and wipes don’t remove E. coli O157
- supervise children closely to make sure they wash their hands thoroughly.