An artisan cheesemaker which is embroiled in a court case with food hygiene authorities after being forced to withdraw its products amid an outbreak of E.coli which killed a three year old girl, has been named one of Britain's top cheese producers in an industry awards ceremony.
Errington Cheeses, which is awaiting a court date against South Lanarkshire Council, which ordered the manufacturer to stop production of its raw milk cheeses amid an investigation following the outbreak of the food poisoning bug last summer, was given runner up in the Best Artisan Producer category at the Great British Cheese Awards.
The Lanarkshire-based business also came runner up in the category of Best Blue Cheese for its Lanark Blue cheese, at the awards at Marcus Wareing's Gilbert Scott restaurant in London, hosted by food website Great British Chefs.
The company is currently only making one type of cheese - made from ewe's milk - pending its court case against South Lanarkshire Council.
Owner Humphrey Errington, who launched the firm in 1985, has insisted that his cheese is not the source of the food poisoning outbreak - which saw 19 people hospitalised - and has claimed that the authorities, including Food Standards Scotland, are trying to curb production of raw milk cheese.
A Just Giving campaign launched to help Errington cover its legal costs, raised £34,000 from supporters.
Twitter user Artisan Food wrote: "Chefs vote of confidence @ErringtonCheese Resilience in face of harassment/bias/ignorance."
In March, an official report from Health Protection Scotland into the E.coli outbreak claimed that Errington's Dunsyre Blue was the source of the bacteria.