Fair and Petting Zoo Safety

A resource for fair and petty zoo legal cases and outbreak prevention, sponsored by Marler Clark

2003 Fort Bend County Fair E. coli Outbreak - Rosenberg, Texas

In 2003, 25 people (fair visitors and animal exhibitors) became ill with hemolytic uremic syndrome and one case of a related disease, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. All seven laboratory-confirmed cases had an indistinguishable PFGE pattern which matched 10 isolates obtained from environmental samples taken from animal housing areas.  Environmental samples were positive for E. coli O157:H7, some were different strains from the outbreak strain. Investigators concluded that both the rodeo and animal exhibit areas were contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. There was no association between illness and any food or beverages (Reynolds et al, 2004; Durso et al, 2005).