A cheesemaker blamed for an outbreak of E.coli poisoning that led to the death of a three-year-old girl has been cleared of breaching food safety laws.
Errington Cheese had been accused of failing to comply with legal standards of food hygiene.
But in a 254-page ruling Sheriff Robert Weir QC said the allegations were “not well founded”.
The 2016 outbreak involved Dunsyre Blue but that did not form part of the case, which focused on sheep’s milk cheeses.
Stocks of Dunsyre Blue – which is made with cow’s milk and was not considered during the Sheriff’s ruling – were seized by South Lanarkshire Council after the outbreak and are still withheld from sale.
This case was brought against the company by South Lanarkshire Council and Food Standards Scotland.
Sheriff Weir rejected the council’s application to destroy the company’s entire stock of cheese but ruled that four batches of cheeses made with raw milk – one Lanark Blue and three Corra Linn – contained levels of Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC).
The council said this made them potentially unfit to eat.