28 Oct 2008

Dairy company intends to stay open

12:39 pm on 28 October 2008

The owner of a small Southland dairy company vows to stay open, despite negative publicity following a food health scare.

Happy Valley Dairies stopped processing and had to recall some products after tests revealed high levels of E.Coli in milk and also Listeria contamination in yoghurt.

The company sells fresh milk, yoghurt, butter and cheese produced on a farm near Tuatapere in Western Southland.

Jeanine Venekamp who runs Happy Valley Dairies with her husband Frans, says they were contemplating shutting up shop, but the support from the community was such that she says that's no longer an option.

She says the Food Safety Authority is continuing checks on the processing facilities, but tests so far have found no traces of listeria or E. Coli.

Mrs Venekamp says cheese processing will resume this week, and liquid milk next week.

However, she says she is unimpressed with the way the FSA handled the recall, and has laid a complaint with the authority as well as her MP.