USA – State Fairs – E.coli O157 Outbreaks are common

Food Poisoning Bulletin

With the announcement yesterday of the MN State Fair E. coli outbreak that has sickened 11 people and hospitalized six, we were wondering how many other state and county fairs have had these serious outbreaks. Are these E. coli. outbreaks common at local, county, and state fairs?

  • In 2012, a huge E. coli outbreak linked to the Cleveland County Fair in North Carolina sickened 106 people, including 65 children. Thirteen people were hospitalized in that outbreak, and one child died. Fair organizers banned petting zoos at the event after this outbreak.
  • In 2014, another E. coli outbreak in Minnesota was linked to Zerebko Zoo Tran, a traveling petting zoo that goes from fair to fair during the summer months. At least 13 people were sickened in that outbreak.
  • In 2015, an E. coli outbreak associated with the Oxford County Fair in Maine sickened two children; one child died.
  • Also in 2015, an E. coli outbreak at the Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo, North Dakota sickened three children; one child developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.
  • In 2016, an E. coli outbreak associated with the Washington County Fair in Oregon sickened at least two people.
  • In 2017, an E. coli outbreak at the Mesa County Fair in Grand Junction, Colorado sickened at least eight people.
  • Earlier this year, an E. coli outbreak at the San Diego County Fair sickened 10 people. Three people were hospitalized and one child died.

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