The state Department of Agriculture is making some changes at this year's State Fair. Twenty-five people became sick from E.coli contamination after last year's fair concluded. A task force was formed by State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler to explore ways to keep infections from happening again. Some food vendors are being moved from areas where competition animals are kept. Troxler says a better effort is being made to limit human and animal contact.
Steve Troxler: Recommendations are also designed to keep people and competitive livestock separated as much as can be done practically but we don't want to prohibit the public from being able to see these animals and enjoy what animal agriculture is in North Carolina.
Troxler does say that the popular petting zoos which do not include competition animals will still be part of the State Fair experience. Health officials are also urging thorough hand washing as fair-goers travel between exhibits. This year's State Fair will run for 11 days beginning October 11th.