Bill would require hand-washing facilities for petting areas

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine Democrat’s bill would require hand-washing facilities or disinfectant at areas where the public can touch livestock and other animals.

Roger Fuller’s bill is set for a Thursday hearing.

Fuller’s bill doesn’t apply to domestic pets and requires signs emphasizing hand-washing’s importance.

Fuller says his bill follows health officials’ 2015 investigation into whether two toddlers, including one who died, were exposed to E. coli after petting animals at the Oxford County Fair.

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The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the toddlers had the same strain of E. coli but it was unable to connect it to the fair.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry encourages hand-washing after touching animals and before eating to limit disease from spreading.

Colton Guay, 2, of Poland died after contracting a disease caused by a type of E. coli bacteria that is sometimes linked to farm animals.

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