Fair and Petting Zoo Safety

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

1994 E. coli Outbreak at a Farm Visitor Center, Leicestershire, United Kingdom

Shukla et al (1995) investigated an outbreak of seven cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection associated with a visit to a farm in Leicestershire, United Kingdom, during the summer of 1994.  The ensuing investigation found that the common factor linking all the cases was a visit to a farm visitor center in the three weeks before the onset of the illnesses. The microbiologic data supported this link, as the strains of E. coli O157:H7 isolated from nine animals on the farm were indistinguishable from those isolated from the human samples.  This report concluded that the most likely cause of this outbreak was direct human contact with animals.  The probability of contracting disease was increased by poor hand washing facilities, and a lack of information provided to the visitors on the importance of maintaining personal hygiene.