One year later: Health Dept addresses E. coli at Cleveland Co. F - | WBTV Charlotte

One year later: Health Dept addresses E. coli at Cleveland Co. Fair


The Cleveland County Health Department is implementing several safety measures in response to the deadly E. coli outbreak last fall. 

One child died and more than 100 people got sick from E. coli poisoning linked to the Cleveland County fair in 2012. 

Health officials say the bacteria came from a petting zoo and think rain spread the bacteria to other areas.

Over the summer, a task force recommended several upgrades including more hand washing stations, better signage warning of the risk of E. coli, more separation from food vendors and animal exhibits and improved waste management.

"The fair will fully implement these changes…We want you to come to the Cleveland County Fair and we're doing everything, as we did last year, above and beyond to make it a fun and safe environment ," Calvin Hastings, Fair Association Manager said.

Health officials note that no matter how many precautions are put into place it's impossible to get rid of a disease completely.

The task force was made up of local and state officials who took cues from the recommendations made after a 2011 E. coli outbreak at the NC State Fair.

Fair managers tell WBTV there will not be a petting zoo at this year's fair. Also, additional fences will be added to the animal exhibits. Managers hope this will better separate animals and people.

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