I never visited a farm as a child, and I know where my food comes from Mr. PR

In an attempt to minimize (reputation) damages, a spokesman for the U.K. National Farmers Union has been quick to respond after a report into last year’s petting zoo outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 came out this morning.

After downplaying the outbreak, he responded to the report, saying: “the report’s recommendations are not too onerous and would be supported by the NFU.”

If the recommendations do not involve a lot of effort and difficulty, why haven’t they been established already?

Perhaps it would be cost-effective to hire less spokespeople and more educators on how to manage petting zoos and possible threats to the public in a timely fashion. Before 93 people, primarily children, get sick with a dangerous bacterium like E. coli O157:H7, and then the requisite government report.

A table of petting zoo related outbreaks is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/petting-zoos-outbreaks-1988-2009