E-Coli Reminder for Fairs & Festivals and Rodeos: Preventing Outbreaks

With the recent outbreak of e-coli at the San Diego County Fair in mind, it is a good time to be reminded that taking reasonable precautions to prevent or limit animal to human contamination can save lives. Anyone is susceptible to e-coli 0157-H7 and other dangerous bacterial infections, but particularly the young, elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system. Keep in mind, e-coli is a natural bacteria produced in the gut of healthy ruminate animals; and while the vast majority of outbreaks are linked to food, your patrons are at risk if measures are not in place to limit or eliminate personal exposure.

PRECAUTIONS:

  • Consider eliminating petting zoos configured to allow patrons inside of small animal pens. Hand washing stations do not eliminate contamination on clothing or shoes.
  • Where contact is permitted, you must follow the recommendations as outlined in the IAFE Consumer Protection Workshop.

RESOURCES FOR PREVENTING OR MITIGATING DISEASE ASSOCIATED WITH ANIMALS IN PUBLIC SETTINGS:

INSURANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

  • We cannot prevent all outbreaks, but if proper precautions are taken, we can defend your fair, festival or rodeo in the event an outbreak. Know and implement the safety guidelines outlined above.
  • Many general liability policies exclude exposures associated with petting zoos:
    • Infectious Diseases / Animals / Bacterial Infestation exclusions are common. Be sure to send copies of Petting Zoo or Exotic Animal exhibitors’ insurance to your broker for review.
    • Require Defense and Indemnity provisions in all contracts.