HEALTH bosses have warned farm visitors to remember hand hygiene and avoid infections.

North Yorkshire County Council’s public health team said the farm visits season is now under way and anybody taking a trip to a petting farm should wash their hands using liquid soap and warm water and use disposable paper towels to dry them after handling or being near animals.

In the last 20 years, about 80 cases of cryptosporidium infection linked to petting farm visits have been reported to Public Health England each year. Other common infections are caused by e.coli 0157 and salmonella. A factsheet can be downloaded at

Coun Don Mackenzie, the county council’s executive member for public health, said: “It’s a great experience for families to visit our wonderful farms, and by following simple hygiene, they can ensure their visit is both enjoyable and safe.”