I was reading the CDC’s MMWR article – “Outbreak of Shiga Toxin–Producing Escherichia coli O157 Infection Associated with a Day Camp Petting Zoo — Pinellas County, Florida, May–June 2007” and it struck me how humans seem nearly incapable of learning for the past. We have been tracking this ongoing problem for years now and built www.fair-safety.com as a resource for the Fair and Petting Zoo Industry. But, they seem to be slow learners.
According to the CDC, during 1991–2005, the CDC received reports of 32 outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 that were associated with animals in public settings. Among these, venues in certain outbreaks were not in compliance with NASPHV guidelines, with reported inadequate handwashing facilities, permitted consumption of food or drink in animal areas, unsupervised handwashing, and no signage. During 2006–2008, five E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks related to animal settings were reported (CDC, unpublished data, 2009). NASPHV guidelines include recommendations on handwashing, venue design, animal care and management, risk communication, and oversight needed for animals in public settings.
The article was reported by: KA Alelis, MPH, PE Borkowski, Pinellas County Health Dept; P Fiorella, PhD, J Nasir, J Middaugh, MD, C Blackmore, DVM, Florida Dept of Health. J Keen, DVM, US Dept of Agriculture and Univ of Nebraska. This report is based, in part, on contributions by C Minor, Florida Dept of Health; T Holt, DVM, W Jeter, DVM, J Crews, DVM, and J Carter, Florida Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Svcs.
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We still have pending litigation against the State of North Carolina steming from a petting zoo E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in 2004 were several children suffered acute kidney failure caused by Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome.