A HAMPSHIRE farm has stopped selling raw milk after revealing the business never recovered from a food poisoning scare - despite being given the all-clear.

New Forest Raw Milk at Sarah’s Dairy in Milford on Sea started to attract customers from across the county after the self-service equipment was installed earlier this year.

But the owners of Hordle Manor Farm, where the dairy was based, have announced they are no longer selling unpasteurised milk.

Writing on social media owner Sarah Cobb said the farm failed to recover from a food poisoning claim which took seven weeks to investigate and cost it thousands of pounds in lost sales.

New Forest Post:

The dairy was temporarily banned from selling raw milk after it was identified as a possible source of campylobacter.

A family holidaying in the Forest were reported to have shown symptoms of campylobacter poisoning in June after visiting several places in the district, including Hordle Farm.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) ordered the vending machine be shut down while tests were carried out.

But the subsequent investigation took nearly two months. An online petition calling for the ban to be lifted was launched by customers and more than 1,000 people posted messages of support.

Writing on social media one customer said: "It's the best milk I've ever tasted."

Another added: "This amazing farm has spent weeks proving that the milk is completely free of infection and yet still they are unable to earn their living. I, like hundreds of others, have been drinking this milk daily with no problems."

Sarah and her husband Matthew were eventually given the all-clear by the FSA and started selling raw milk again.

But sales never returned to their previous levels and the couple have taken the “difficult” decision to close the vending machine.

New Forest Post:

A FSA spokesman said: "Public Health England and the FSA investigated the cause of a small number of foodborne illnesses in people who had consumed products including raw milk from Sarah’s Dairy.

"Whilst sampling at the site indicated no link to the illnesses, other bacteria above acceptable levels were found and this required attention before the business could continue trading.

"The FSA considers raw drinking milk to be a risky product.

"Therefore there are stricter hygiene standards for farms selling raw drinking milk direct to consumers and these farms are inspected more frequently than those producing milk to be pasteurised."