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Food Safety News

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pets and petting zoos

UK Petting Farm Found Liable for 2009 E. coli Outbreak

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The United Kingdom’s High Court has found a Surrey county petting farm liable for a 2009 E. coli outbreak that sickened 93 people, including 76 children under the age of 10, Smallholder Magazine reports. Several children suffered acute kidney failure and required dialysis following their infections, resulting in some likely experiencing permanent kidney problems. In… Continue Reading

North Carolina Mom Sues County Fair After Son Part of E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

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Amie Westfall is suing the Cleveland County Fair in Shelby, North Carolina after her 18-month-old son Dominic suffered from a severe E. coli infection as part of last month’s outbreak tied to the fair’s petting zoo, Circle G Ranch. According to the North Carolina Department of Health, there were 106 reported illnesses and 1 death… Continue Reading

WA Petting Zoo Linked to 10 Illnesses

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At least 10 people have fallen ill with E. coli infections beginning in mid-October after visiting a petting zoo and pumpkin patch in Washington state, the Oregonian reports. The owners of Willow Grove Gardens Pumpkin Patch voluntarily closed the premises after new sinks for hand-washing failed to prevent visitors from getting sick. The sinks had… Continue Reading

The Petting Zoo Problem

Last month, a toddler died from an E. coli infection acquired at a county fair. Petting zoos have caused dozens of outbreaks in the last decade, all while experts struggle to make them safer.

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Katie Maness was 13 years old when her parents took her and two friends to the 2004 North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. It was a beautiful October day, as her mother Becky recalls years later, and the three girls were excited to visit the petting zoo on their own. Inside the zoo exhibit, the… Continue Reading

Bittersweet News in NC Fair E. coli Outbreak

Officials: Petting zoo to blame

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More than a month has passed since the first of the 106 victims in North Carolina’s Cleveland County Fair E. coli outbreak began showing symptoms of infection. This week brought bittersweet news regarding two of those victims. First, the good: After 35 days in care, 12-year-old Jordan McNair was discharged from Levine Children’s Hospital in… Continue Reading

New Number in NC Fair E. coli Outbreak: 100

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The North Carolina Department of Health has revised the number ill in the Cleveland County Fair E. coli outbreak to 100 people, the agency announced Tuesday. The agency previously believed to have 106 people ill last Friday, and then revised the number to 98 on Monday. A 2 year-old boy died from complications of his… Continue Reading

NC County Fair Cases Rise to 106

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At least 64 children and 42 adults have fallen ill in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak connected to North Carolina’s Cleveland County Fair. That number includes 2 year-old Gage Lefevers, who died last Friday as a direct result of his infection. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said that given the amount… Continue Reading

61 Now Ill in North Carolina E. coli Outbreak

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The deadly E. coli outbreak linked to the Cleveland County Fair in North Carolina grew to 61 cases by Wednesday. At least 10 people have been hospitalized. This latest figures comes less than a week after 2-year-old Gage Lefever died from his infection last Friday. His funeral services were held on Wednesday afternoon. Food Safety News… Continue Reading

Publisher’s Platform: Time to Ban Petting Zoos Yet?

Opinion

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The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced the death of a child Saturday.  So far fourteen children and six adults who attended the Cleveland County Fair have gotten sick with the E. coli O157:H7 bacteria. I penned the following op-ed in January of this year. I am sure I have missed several other outbreaks… Continue Reading