Update: Food Safety News has reported that a 2-year-old is dead and three other children aged 2 to 13 are sick after visiting a San Diego County Fair petting zoo:
According to the San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), the children were infected with a Shiga-toxin causing E. coli bacteria, or STEC, from contact with farm animals at the fair. HHSA and the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health are investigating the cluster of illnesses.
All four children who became ill attended the San Diego County Fair between June 8 and 15. Symptoms set in between June 10 and June 16. The two-year-old boy was hospitalized and died on June 24. The other three children did not require hospitalization, according to officials.
The investigators have yet to name the source of the E. coli bacteria, but all four of the children who became ill visited the petting zoo or other animal areas. The County Department of Environmental Health re-inspected fair food facilities that the children visited and found no links there to the outbreak. (source)
Please be extra vigilant when attending events where your family may come into contact with animals.
Summer is nearly here, and with it comes festivals, fairs, carnivals, and amusement park visits.
While fun tends to peak during the warmer months, so does the risk of getting sick from contaminated food.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), foodborne illness peaks during the summer months for two reasons: bacteria multiply faster in warmer temperatures, and preparing food outdoors makes safe food handling more difficult.
When you prepare food at home, you can ensure safe handling procedures are followed.