Placenta smoothie? No thanks, says Health & Safety

A Wiltshire firm that turns your raw placenta into smoothies and capsules has temporarily closed after fears over bacterial contamination

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Fancy a placenta smoothie? Well, new mums in Wiltshire won’t currently be able to turn their raw placentas into drinks or capsules after a home-based business has temporarily closed over council concerns about bacterial contamination.

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Kathryn Beale has been asked to stop producing her placenta-based products by Swindon Council. According to The Mirror the council is, “worried about potential ‘serious health risks’ and is attempting to get a court order banning her from producing the drinks”.

The smoothies are fruit based and made from banana, berries (yum) and water as well, as an 8-cm long piece of placenta (not so yum) and are made in her kitchen at home.

Kathryn says that she sterilises all her equipment before use and follows very strict hygiene rules to ensure the safety of her customers but she doesn’t have a food hygiene rating, which she believes has led officials to put a temporary stop to her work. 

This is not the first time that a company selling placenta products has fallen foul of Health & Safety rules. In May last year it was reported that The Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network (IPEN), based in Hertfordshire, was being prevented from trading by the local council. 

At Watford magistrates’ court, lawyers acting for Dacorum Borough Council, said that the bacteria staphylococcus aureus, present in the vaginas of 10% of women, could be passed on in the ‘harvested’ placentas, and present a ‘hazard’ and a risk to health.

IPEN founder Lynnea Shrief, of Berkhamsted, said she set up the company after she struggled to produce enough breastmilk for her baby. She says eating raw placenta can increase breast milk supply, help reduce the impact of post-natal depression, and improve general mood and a sense of wellbeing. 

IPEN’s lawyer, challenging the prohibition notice, said the company asked for each placenta’s history and would refuse any that had been left at room temperature for 24 hours. He also pointed out that women asked to complete feedback forms after consuming placenta products from IPEN had not reported any ill-effects.

“The law does not need to step in and protect people when what they are eating is a product of themselves,” he told the court.

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