Europe’s first court ruling of its kind bans preparing placentas for people to eat

Lynnea Shrief
Lynnea Shrief

Dacorum Borough Council has been successful in Europe’s first court action to prevent a food business operator from processing raw placenta for human consumption.

This website reported last week that Lynnea Shrief has been providing the service from her home in Ridgeway, Berkhamsted, for more than two years

Placenta PNL-140905-110047001

Placenta PNL-140905-110047001

She also set up the Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network (IPEN) to teach others how to do it. There are now more than 100 members of the group worldwide.

The business became so popular that in October, Lynnea says she was called to Watford General Hospital to give a talk to trainee midwives about it.

But soon afterwards, Dacorum Borough Council’s environmental health officers issued two Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notices to shut down her operation.

The authority says a risk to the public’s health from Lynnea’s homemade placenta capsules and smoothies was identified before the action in October and December.

After hearing both sides of the argument at Watford Magistrates Court, district judge Annabel Pilling yesterday ratified the notices, granting the council Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Orders on IPEN.

Council portfolio holder for residents and regulatory services Neil Harden said the action was taken to protect the public.

He said: “Our environmental health team inspect and regulate around 1647 food business operators across Dacorum, providing advice and support to ensure they meet strict food hygiene standards. We take court action as a last resort.

“I am pleased that this outcome means that we have set a standard for businesses that deal with raw, processed or cooked placenta.”

IPEN process placenta for consumption by mothers after they have given birth for perceived health benefits.

The council applied to the court for the prohibition orders after it was found that the business was not following the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006.

The first Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order granted was to prohibit the use of raw placenta in foods for human consumption. The second was to prohibit the use of cooked placenta in foods for human consumption.

If any other businesses in the area are providing human placenta products, they should contact Dacorum Borough Council’s environmental health team on 01442 228000.

Although IPEN is the only known food business trading within Dacorum that deals with human placenta, the case could set a legal precedent for other councils that have similar businesses trading in their area.

Those considering purchasing services dealing with human placenta should check with their council’s environmental health team that they are produced safely and the business is checked for food hygiene purposes.