UK school boycotted in E. coli scare

The. U.K. is sorta ground zero for E. coli O157 outbreaks in schools and little kids.

So it’s understandable that a primary school has been boycotted by terrified parents amid fears of E. coli contamination.

The playground of Lawfield Primary School in Midlothian was flooded with contaminated water from a neighbouring farm field.

The local council admitted “a wide range of bacteria” was present and warned parents of a potential risk by text message.

They also cordoned off the affected area and are insisting all pupils wash their hands with antibacterial gel.

Despite the measures, it is understood that as many as 30 children have been taken out of the school.

Parents say they will not return to the school, which has 230 pupils, until the presence of potentially deadly E-coli bacteria is ruled out.

Mark Wilkinson, 38, who has two sons at the Edinburgh school, was especially concerned as his wife contracted the bacteria while being treated for kidney stones at a city hospital.

The dad-of-three said: “They’re not going back until I know for a fact there’s no E-coli.

“My wife nearly died of E-coli a couple of years ago so I know how easy it is to catch it – it’s a silent killer.

“There is water running into the playground off a farmer’s field which the school believes may be contaminated with E-coli.

“If the council is testing the water why is the school still open?”

Another father, who wished to remain anonymous, said he received a text from the school around 8.30am advising children to bring a second set of footwear, but by that time it was too late.

He said: “I took the girls to school and a nursery teacher said there had been an outbreak of E-coli in the playground – I was shocked.

“When I went to pick my daughter up from nursery at 11.45am about 30 parents were there taking their kids out of school.

“I decided to take my oldest daughter out of school too – I won’t send them back until the council gives the all-clear.”

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time