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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Willow Grove Gardens linked to Four Kids with E. coli

Three petting zoo E. coli outbreaks – one in the UK.

Longview Daily News reports that two more young children have fallen ill with E. coli after visiting a Longview pumpkin patch and petting zoo earlier this month, for a total of four cases, the Cowlitz County Health Department announced Monday.

All the children visited Willow Grove Gardens in Washington between Oct. 10 and Oct. 20 and got sick with the bacterial infection between Oct. 14 and Oct. 22, said Hilary Gillette-Walch, the health department’s clinical services manager. Willow Grove Gardens is a certified organic farm operated by Michael and Ruth McKee at 8561 Willow Grove Road. The couple’s crops include pumpkins, peppers, cucumbers, melons, green beans and winter squash.

The health department issued an advisory Friday after laboratory tests confirmed one of the first two cases. All four cases involve children under age 10, Gillette-Walch said.

And then there is North Carolina – The Division of Public Health of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with Local Health Departments is investigating an outbreak of E. coli infection in 106 people who attended the Cleveland County Fair. Preliminary findings suggest animal exposure may be the source of this outbreak.  As of 1 p.m., 65 children* and 41 adults are known to be/have been affected by this outbreak. Thirteen individuals* have been or are currently hospitalized.

The county case counts are as follows: Cleveland County – 61, Gaston County – 15*, Lincoln County – 14, Catawba County – 2, Union County – 2, Rutherford – 7, York County, South Carolina – 2, Cherokee County, South Carolina – 3. *this number includes one death related to the outbreak.