But we’ve never had E. coli – petting zoo visitor freefall

Staff at the Stonebridge City Farm want to reassure potential visitors that the farm has never been affected by E. coli as the number of visitors continues to decline in the wake of a petting zoo outbreak that sickened 93 children.

Mark Barry, funding development worker at the farm in St Ann’s, said,

"We’ve been quite severely affected by E.coli scare stories, but luckily, the last week has been excellent. We’re E.coli free, like most city farms, and that message needs getting across."

Does that mean no illness or death has ever been connected to the farm? Does that mean the owners are routinely screening the animals for dangerous E. coli and have test results they can share with the public to bolster confidence?

The story also says that only one in 50 of all E. coli cases are linked to petting farms.

Such statistics may be factually correct but get sorta lost when 93 kids become unnecessarily sick from a leisure activity. People need to eat – they don’t need to kiss turtles and they don’t need to visit petting zoos.