COSTA MESA (June 29, 2019) – We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of a young boy in San Diego and the illness of others related to E.coli. We join our colleagues at the San Diego County Fair in sending heartfelt condolences to the families affected.
As we prepare to open the 2019 OC Fair on July 12, we are thoroughly reviewing our consumer protection and safety protocols which are among the most rigorous in the industry. These protocols include visible and accessible hand-washing stations in all animal areas. These stations are monitored and serviced throughout the day and prominent signage instructs everyone who has been in an animal area to wash their hands.
All animal enclosures are cleaned daily and are sanitized and power-washed when animal exhibits are changed. Staff, volunteers and animal exhibitors go through annual training on strict safety practices.The petting zoo is stripped and sanitized daily and animals are brushed each day and washed throughout the run of the Fair. In addition, the OC Fair has added more hand-washing stations over the past several years.
“The safety and protection of our guests is the No. 1 priority of the OC Fair. We will redouble our efforts to educate everyone on our fairgrounds, including fairgoers, about the absolute importance of hand washing whenever anyone is in an animal area,” said Kathy Kramer, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “Animals are an important part of our agricultural heritage and we want people to continue to learn about them in a safe manner.”
Prior to the opening of the OC Fair, the following actions will be taken: hiring additional staff members to monitor cleanliness and verbally remind guests to wash their hands in animal areas, enhance signage in multiple languages in hand-washing areas and provide additional educational material and training to staff, volunteers and animal exhibitors. We are also restructuring the exit path from the petting zoo to force visitors to the hand-washing station and adding personnel there to instruct guests to wash their hands.