CARNWATH farm business Errington Cheese was this week celebrating winning three medals at the World Cheese Awards, as the business gets back on track following a series of legal battles with South Lanarkshire Council.

The cheese producer’s Corra Linn was awarded two gold medals, while the first batch of its new Dunsyre Blue, made with raw organic milk, was given a silver award at the ceremony in Norway last Friday (November 2), where a record-breaking 3500 cheeses were judged by an international panel of 230 experts.

Errington Cheese has had a 'traumatic' couple of years defending a costly legal battle with South Lanarkshire Council, which wanted to dispose of its entire stock of cheese after a well-publicised claim that it was linked to an outbreak of E.coli O157.

The company has now been cleared of breaching food hygiene regulations and, as of last week, won a judicial review declaring that all batches were safely produced and safe to eat.

Coming out from under that legal cloud, last month the company opened its production facilities to members of the public to taste some cheese and gain an insight into the processes behind it. The event was successful, with hundreds of visitors, from as far afield as Aberdeen and Cumbria, passing through the doors.

Errington's renaissance has been cemented by the company's strong showing at the World Cheese Awards, particularly given that the batch of Corra Linn – a hard ewes’ milk cheese made with unpasteurised milk and vegetarian rennet – that won the two gold medals was one of those targeted by the council, and was only released following the company’s success in proving it safe to eat.

The new batch of Dunsyre Blue that scored a silver was made using milk from Errington’s new supplier, Mossgiel Farm, from its herd of organic Ayrshire cows, which are kept with their mothers and fed a natural grass diet.

Director at Errington Cheese, Selina Cairns, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the recent hat trick at the World Cheese Awards. We’ve continually argued about the quality of our produce and this is a fantastic third-party accolade for the cheese that we work hard to produce every day. The World Cheese Awards are one of the most fiercely competitive and high regarded accolades in the industry and taking home three medals from them is a tremendous achievement.

“The last couple of years have been extremely difficult but as we start to get back on track and work hard to increase significantly our production and sales, the awards underline the world class quality which we are able to produce.”