A total of 22 confirmed, 45 suspect, and 6 secondary cases of E. coli infection spread through Florida in the spring of 2005 when animals from a petting zoo infected visitors at three separate fairs. 12 people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, but no fatalities resulted from the outbreak.
Visitors to petting zoos at the Florida Strawberry Festival, the Central Florida Fair, and Florida State Fair were questioned intensively by investigators through questionnaires. It was determined that AgVenture Farm Shows was the animal vendor for all three events.
Soil samples and environmental swabs as well as all of the animals that had been at the fairs were cultured for examination. It was determined that the E. coli from infected patients matched the strain from 6 animals at AgVenture.