Our law firm helps children who contract E. coli O157 poisoning from petting zoos, fairs and other animal exhibits. E. coli O157 is a risk, and prevention measures should be taken.
Cows, goats, deer, llamas and other animals can carry E coli O157, which can be spread to humans when E. coli bacterium gets on hands or food and is then consumed. Extremely small numbers of the bacterium are needed to cause severe illness.
At petting zoos and fair animal exhibits, E. coli can get on people’s hands when they come into contact with animal feces by doing any of the following:
- touching animals
- feeding animals
- touching gates or other structures that have feces on them
- touching the floor or picking something up off of the floor (dropped toy, etc.)
- touching feces that got onto shoes or clothing
- touching feces that got on the wheels of a stroller
- using contaminated play equipment
- playing on the ground.
In addition, contaminated feces can get on food or in water and be consumed. Most of the people sickened at petting zoos, fairs and other animal exhibits are children, who are more at risk for developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
Petting Zoo and Fair Operators Should Reduce the E. coli Risk
Animal exhibit operators are responsible for taking measures to reduce the risk of E. coli infection:
- When applicable, animal contact areas, play areas, and eating areas should be defined
- Adequate washing facilities should be available
- Everything should be adequately cleaned
- The operator should provide visitors with information about possible E. coli contamination that explains the need for hand washing after animal contact
- Signs and other information should be provided
- Staff should be trained about E. coli, preventative animal care and manure management.
If an E. coli outbreak is linked to a petting zoo or fair, the operator can be sued for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and other damages. Contact our E. coli lawyers for a free consultation.
- Attorneys Eric Hageman and Ryan Osterholm obtained a settlement for a family whose child tragically died from E. coli-HUS after visiting a petting zoo at a fair.
- An outbreak linked to a Minnesota petting zoo sickened 13 with E. coli and hemolytic uremic syndrome.
- Attorney Fred Pritzker and his team investigated an outbreak linked to animals at a pumpkin patch.
- Three children contracted E. coli in Indiana.