Cheese maker in E.coli row wins accolades at international competition

Humphrey Errington on his Lanarkshire Farm with Lanark Blue Cheese  and a glass of wine. Picture: Allan Milligan
Humphrey Errington on his Lanarkshire Farm with Lanark Blue Cheese and a glass of wine. Picture: Allan Milligan
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A cheese maker who won a battle with food watchdogs after they branded his products unsafe has won awards at an international competition.

Errington Cheese won three medals at the prestigious World Cheese Awards in Norway.

The prizes celebrate produce from around the world and saw judges taste and score 3,500 entries.

Two batches of Errington’s Corra Linn, a hard ewes’ milk cheese made with unpasteurised milk, were given gold awards.

The batch entered was made in 2016 and was released after the company won a fight to have their cheese declared safe to eat.

Dunsyre Blue, another Errington cheese, formerly linked to an outbreak of food poisoning in 2016, was given a silver prize at the ceremony in Bergen. Selina Cairns, director at Errington Cheese, who are based in Carnwath, Lanarkshire, said: “We’ve continually argued about the quality of our produce and this is a fantastic third-party accolade for the cheese that we work hard to produce every day.

“The World Cheese Awards are one of the most fiercely competitive and high regarded accolades in the industry and taking home three medals from them is a tremendous achievement.

“The last couple of years have been extremely difficult but as we start to get back on track and work hard to increase significantly our production and sales, the awards underline the world class quality which we are able to produce.”

Last week company founder Humphrey Errington declared a “comprehensive victory” in his fight with Food Standards Scotland and South Lanarkshire Council over his cheese.

A senior judge ruled his products were safe to eat and overturned an earlier decision ordering a batch of Lanark Blue and three Corra Linn be destroyed.

Mr Errington, 74, had been told he could sell his products after winning a lengthy fight with the council, which wanted it declared unsafe following an E.coli outbreak that claimed the life of a young girl two years ago.

The Crown Office said there would be no criminal proceedings because of a lack of evidence linking Errington to the death of the girl from Dunbartonshire.

Earlier this year officials also ruled out holding a fatal accident inquiry into her death.

Mr Errington has demanded almost £400,000 in compensation.

The legal battle has already cost him £350,000 and the taxpayer more than £500,000. He is awaiting a ruling on expenses and estimates the figure owed is £380,000.