Farmers and state officials to meet over ways to prevent E. coli - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Farmers and state officials to meet over ways to prevent E. coli

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Lebanon Farm Lebanon Farm

In an effort to prevent another E. coli outbreak, like one experienced by dozens of people earlier this year, state and federal health officials said they'll share ways to prevent visitors from becoming sick while they promote the state's booming agri-tourism business.

More than 40 people were sickened after the outbreak in March.

Health officials believed the source to be one farm where people were a little too close to the animals.

Oak Leaf Dairy Farm in Lebanon was a popular place in March. Dozens of people said they visited, and unfortunately, three dozen families said they saw children fall ill with E. Coli. They even passed on the dangerous bacteria to adults.

Linda Suriyakham's 2-year-old was among those who became sick. She fed the baby goats. Four days later, she said her child was violently vomiting and had diarrhea.

In a statement, farm managers said regardless of the cause, they felt terrible that anyone may have gotten sick and wished them a healthy and speedy recovery.

E. coli infections can be prevented fairly easily by washing hands thoroughly after contact with farm animals, health officials said.

With agriculture-tourism growing in Connecticut, officials said the opportunity for more outbreaks is possible and that many farmers may be unaware of the potential risks.

At the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, a conference on safe food prep and protecting farms and visitors from outbreaks like the one in Lebanon is set for 3 p.m.

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