British officials are considering cracking down on petting zoos after 10 children were hospitalized with E. coli contracted from touching animals, reports the Telegraph. Parents were urged yesterday to "think very hard" about taking young children to petting zoos. Four petting zoos have been shut following the E. coli outbreak that affected 57 people. Officials are considering requiring stiffer hygiene conditions and barring children under the age of 5 from petting zoos.
A key problem is that children are ''the most difficult part of the population to get to wash their hands,'' while also ''most likely to touch the animals," says one doc. E. coli is contracted through fecal contamination.