New questions are being raised about the source of the E. coli outbreak that has been linked to this year’s State Fair. While most of the focus has been on petting zoos, some are questioning whether food vendors could be a possible source.
An anonymous viewer sent pictures to Eyewitness News claiming they show boxes of frozen turkey drumsticks sitting outside on a wooden pallet during the State Fair.
If the pictures are legitimate, and the drumsticks sat out long enough to be warmer than 45-degress, Wake County environmental health specialist, Rebecca Robbins says she would be concerned. “The concerns would definitely be food borne illnesses bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella… it’s an important health concern because they do have a severe effect on people such as bloody stool etc.”
State health officials have not identified a specific exhibit or concession as the sources of the E. coli outbreak. So food vendors at the fair have not been ruled out, but most of the focus has been on petting zoos.
Katie Maness thinks she got it when the animals jumped on her to get food from her hand. “I felt really bad. I had a crampy stomach and was just tired all the time.”
As for Katie Maness, she hopes they figure it out and fix it, so next year she’ll be able to bring home souvenirs from the fair and not from a hospital visit.
Across the state there have been at least 40 cases of E. coli confirmed during the current outbreak and now there are secondary cases – relatives of the confirmed 40 have been getting sick.