Metro-East News

Grant’s Farm visitors fall ill with E. coli

Five people who visited Grant’s Farm in South St. Louis County since late last month have been treated for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, or STEC, according to media reports.

If you have visited Grant’s Farm in South St. Louis County since last month, you are urged to visit a doctor if you have had food-borne illness symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody) and vomiting.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture and Grant’s Farm are reminding patrons of the importance of hand washing after direct contact with animals, particularly before eating or drinking, according to KTVI-Channel 2.

Public health agencies are trying to determine what caused the illnesses, KSDK-Channel 5 reported.

“Infections start when you swallow STEC — in other words, when you get tiny (usually invisible) amounts of human or animal feces in your mouth. Unfortunately, this happens more often than we would like to think about,” the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. “Exposures that result in illness include consumption of contaminated food, consumption of unpasteurized (raw) milk, consumption of water that has not been disinfected, contact with cattle, or contact with the feces of infected people.”

Grant’s Farm, which is at 10501 Gravois Road, said it would cooperate with the state investigation and that additional hand washing stations would be offered to visitors.