Focus at State Fair is staying safe

October 14, 2012 3:39:03 PM PDT
Agriculture officials are warning fairgoers of the dangers of E. coli in the wake of last year's outbreak.

There is a renewed focus on hand washing at the N.C. State Fair this year. On Saturday a North Carolina toddler died after getting E. coli from a livestock area at a county fair. Twenty others are also sick from the same fair.

Over a dozen people got sick from the infection last year at the N.C. State Fair, and many families are taking precautions to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"We talked about it when we come in, about how bad it was last year here, regarding the outbreak last year. And we're trying to take advantage of the stations and the having the stuff with us to take care of things," fair visitor Darrell Boyle said.

Officials have increased the number of washing stations this year to keep patrons safe. Agriculture officials say good hygiene prevents bringing home an unwanted fair souvenir.

"From the E. coli that was last year, the commissioner really wanted to make sure we have this exhibit and promoted good hand washing skills, especially being around the animals," N.C. Agriculture Department's Jennifer Godwin said.

That's good advice that needs to reach a lot of people. Friday's attendance at the N.C. State Fair was 67,508, the third-highest total since 1986 for the fair's first Friday.

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