CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The 56th Annual Coastal Carolina Fair begins Thursday, and event organizers are kicking safety precautions into high gear this year.
An E. coli outbreak at the Cleveland County Fair in Shelby, North Carolina earlier this month left 100 people sick, and a two-year-old dead. This has left fair officials in Charleston on their heels.
"It's always a concern and especially when you're putting 250,000 people through a facility in 11 days and you're responsible for them," said Dennis Lott, President of the Coastal Carolina Fair.
Lott is taking every precaution to ensure that something like that does not happen in Ladson this week.
"In hearing what had happened in the North Carolina Fair and a couple of places in Ohio, we kicked things in high gear and made plans and preparations that we think are going to keep our patrons safe in order to have fun," said Lott.
This year, Lott is bringing in a brand new, all natural sanitizer to keep people safe, and a few changes are being made to the petting zoo.
"We've gone into a no-touch mode with our animals and I'm very sorry to have to say that cause the kids really like to be in there and touching the pigs and the chickens and the cows and all that," said Lott. "Unfortunately this year because of what happened we feel it's the responsible thing to do to have a no-touch policy in the barn this year."
Lott says these changes, in addition to more behind the scene work, have the fair equipped to hand anything.
"We've always said that safety is one of our upmost concerns, and we'd like to claim to be the safest fair that we can be."