A mother-of-two who makes smoothies from raw human PLACENTAS is being investigated by public health officials.
Kathryn Beale produces the drinks for new mums from the kitchen of her terraced home and sells them for £25 each.
She puts a fist-sized fleshy piece of the placenta into a blender after chilling it overnight and mixes it with fruit.
Kathryn, 41, insists the smoothies are perfectly safe and that eating placentas has many health benefits.
But council officials are worried about potential ‘serious health risks’ and attempted to gain an emergency court order banning her from producing the drinks.
This failed after Kathryn agreed to stop making them until officials can inspect hygiene standards at her home in Swindon, Wilts.
She said: “Most species of mammal eat their own placenta straight after birth, raw – it is normal in the animal kingdom.
“We are unusual in that we don’t routinely do it. It is full of iron, stem cells and hormones and is reputed to help with milk production and post-natal depression.”
She explained: “Women who want to use their placentas are tested during pregnancy, and if we know the placenta carries any blood-born pathogens we will not use it.
“After the birth it then stays with the mum in cold bags with ice packs. I collect them very quickly, usually within 24 hours.
“The placenta is basically washed, sliced up and dehydrated before being ground into powder and put into capsules for the mum to take, and only the mum.
“I do the smoothies as well, but they are not as popular.”
Kathryn got involved in consumption of placentas – known as placentophagy – two years ago after meeting the founder of the Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network.
Her most popular product is capsules from placentas – costing £150 per batch.
She only makes placenta products for mothers who provide their own organ for processing.
Last week Swindon Council went to court seeking a hygiene emergency prohibition order against her but it was not granted as she had no future clients booked.
Instead, public protection officials will visit her home next Wednesday to check on what she is doing.
Kathryn added: “I have voluntarily stopped taking bookings until they approve everything.
“I am assuming I will get a food hygiene rating, provided they do not decide to close me down.
“I do not believe I am doing anything that puts myself or the public in any danger. There are more than 50 people around the UK doing the same thing.
“When I do this it is a more time-consuming process because I have to follow the right procedures and constantly wash my hands.
“Mums will often take theirs’ home and cook it or bury it in the garden.
“If I am doing it at least it is safer, because it needs to be thoroughly dehydrated to kill all the germs.”
Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow have used placentas for their supposed health benefits.
One Direction star Harry Styles also dabbled in the fad when he had a luxury sheep placenta facial.
The Placenta Network claims a number of health benefits to eating placentas include:
– Helping stop post-natal haemorrhaging and triggering the body to quickly heal internal wounds
– Significantly reducing blood loss
– Giving the body an immediate supply of essential vitamins, nutrients and hormones
– Giving the mother an immediate feeling of strength and balance
– Earlier production of breast milk
– Easing ‘baby blues’
Swindon Borough Council said: “We can confirm Public Protection officers attended court on Tuesday, March 10 seeking a hygiene emergency prohibition order in respect of raw human placenta practices. The order was not granted on this occasion.
“Our investigations continue and we are therefore unable to comment further at this stage.
“While the health benefits of this activity are not clear, the processes involved in the production of human placenta for human consumption present a number of potentially serious health risks, which explains this action.”