Shropshire Council

Petting farm hand hygiene

03 June 2015 Last updated at 02:14

This spring our public protection officers have visited petting farms throughout the county to ensure that suitable hand washing facilities are provided for their customers to use. During the visits officers looked at the hand wash facilities provided and their location. At some premises improvements were required, whilst at others suggestions for improvement were made. These included:

  •  Additional wash hand wash basins to be provided
  •  Improved hand drying facilities
  •  Improved signage to remind customers to wash their hands (and not eat food whilst walking the petting farm)

Following the visit from our officers one premises decided to close their animal petting area until improvements had been made. The visits and actions taken by the officers were well received by the businesses concerned.

It's important to remember why the visits were made. The thorough washing of hands plays a vital role in reducing the risk of infection from close contact with animals, and it's recommended that immediately after touching or feeding the animals hands are washed with soap and warm water and then thoroughly dried.

Sanitising hand gels and wipes, whilst being OK to use in generally clean areas, are not effective against the type of infections that can be picked up on farms. Consequently these gels and wipes should not be relied upon in these attractions for ensuring good hand hygiene.