Several studies have revealed that people's behavior in the face of a good-natured goat or fuzzy bunny is less than hygienic and, in some cases, has led to outbreaks of E. coli.
Among the behaviors most likely to bring bacteria home are:
- stepping in manure,
- bringing food or drinks into the petting zoo area,
- failing to wash hands after leaving the zoo area, and
- washing hands, but drying them on clothing that had also come into contact with the animals.
Christina Elston is the contributing health editor for United Parenting Publications.