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Hand Washing

Enjoy your visit and staying safe

What to do when visiting a farm



Visiting a farm can be an enjoyable experience for everyone.

However, such visits can never be free from all risks. Farm animals, even those that look clean, carry infections that can be harmful to people.

The bacterial infection Escherichia coli (known as E.coli) is a particular health risk, especially for children under five.

When an animal is infected with E.coli the bacteria will be in the animals droppings and will be on the animalís body, fences and surfaces around the farm. Touching animals, fences and other surfaces can thus lead to infection, as you may pick up this bacteria and accidently pass them to your mouth. It only takes a small number of E.coli bacteria to cause infection.

Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after you have had contact with animals will reduce the risk of infection.

Please ensure that you know where the hand washing facilities are.
Following simple rule reduces the risk of infection. Pregnant women need to take extra care.

Do not's

  • Do not use gels or wipes instead of washing hands with soap and water. Gels and wipes do not remove E.coli that is in dirt.
  • Do not put hands on faces or fingers in mouths while touching animals or walking round the farm.
  • Do not kiss animals nor allow children put their faces close to animals.
  • Do not eat or drink while touching animals or walking round the farm. This includes sweets, crisps or chewing gum.
  • Do not eat anything that has fallen on the ground.






Do's

  • Do wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after you have touched animals, fences or other surfaces in animal areas.
  • Do wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating or drinking.
  • Do wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after removing dirty shoes or boots that have been worn on the farm.
  • Do supervise children and vulnerable adults in your care closely to ensure that they wash their hands thoroughly.
  • Do eat or drink in picnic areas only.



It is the responsibility of teachers, carers and parents to ensure children wash thoroughly and do not put their hands in their mouths whilst on the farm.