A cheesemaker embroiled in case which linked their cheese to an E.coli outbreak has welcomed a ruling that its products did not breach food safety laws.

Errington Cheese Ltd has been locked in a legal battle with South Lanarkshire Council after it called for the company's products to be declared unfit for human consumption and destroyed.

The family-run cheesemaker had been linked to an outbreak of E.coli 0157 in which a young girl died two years ago.

A number of Errington products are made from unpasteurised milk on their farm in Carnwath, Lanarkshire, and environmental workers seized batches of their Lanark Blue and Corra Linn as a result of the outbreak.

A civil case at Hamilton Sheriff Court heard the council claim tests revealed bacteria in both cheeses and ask for them to be labelled unsafe to eat under food safety laws.

However owner Humphrey Errington said the council was wrong and branded the decision unfair.

Sheriff Robert Weir has now ruled Errington did not breach safety standards and refused to agree with the council's request to condemn all the seized cheese.

However he said one batch of Lanark Blue and three Corra Linn should be destroyed.

In a 255-page judgement, he said: "In my opinion, even on a precautionary approach to the pathogenicity of the strains isolated from Corra Linn, no justification has been established for condemning all 83 batches of Lanark Blue Remainder.

"Putting it another way, I am satisfied that Lanark Blue Remainder was 'produced, processed or distributed' in compliance with the hygiene regulations."

Mr Errington represented the firm in court and claimed he had paid out more than £350,000 in legal fees. The council racked up more than £550,000 in bills during the dispute.

Owner Selina Cairns, who runs the company with her father, said on the company's website: "We received the judgement from the court case in January regarding our sheep’s milk cheese made in 2016, I am pleased to say that the Sherriff’s decision was that Errington Cheese were complying with the hygiene regulations during the period the cheese is safe to eat."

However she said the company was "disappointed" on the decision to condemn the batches of Lanark Blue and Corra Linn cheese.

Mr Errington said he will be consulting his lawyers on the firm's next steps.

Ross Finnie, Chair of Food Standards Scotland (FSS) said that FSS was "content that the sheriff’s judgement in the case of South Lanarkshire Council v Errington Cheese Ltd concluded that some of the cheeses produced by Errington Cheese Ltd were unfit for human consumption."

"However, we are disappointed this did not include all of the cheese involved in these proceedings."

"Food Standards Scotland will study the judgment fully to consider its implications," he added.

South Lanarkshire Council said it was "considering the implications of the decision".

The Crown Office has said that an FAI is not needed into the death of a girl during an E.coli outbreak in 2016.

Prosecutors also confirmed there would be no criminal proceedings raised over the death of the child in September of that year.