Crossroads Farm (N.C. State Fair) E. coli Outbreak
On December 16, 2004, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services released a report detailing an investigation that traced an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak to the Crossroads Farm Petting Zoo at the N.C. State Fair in October, 2004.
In total, 108 cases of diarrheal illness were attributed to the outbreak. Of these, forty-one were laboratory confirmed with E. coli O157:H7, six were classified as probable cases, and 59 were classified as suspect cases. There were eighteen secondary cases in people who did not attend the petting zoo but contracted E. coli infections from those who had.
In 2005, North Carolina adopted new legislation on petting zoo sanitation. The bill, called “Aieden’s Law,” was named after a boy who suffered a severe, life-threatening case of HUS. It stipulated that petting zoos must obtain a permit following a physical inspection in order to operate in the state.