I just ran across an article on MSNBC that wrote about a study that found that Bacteria on Shopping Carts is so bad that there is more bacteria on them than in the restrooms in supermarkets themselves. I am not really surprised since all the food going in and out of a supermarket is from farms and storage facilities, and other very dirty places.
Researchers from the University of Arizona swabbed shopping cart handles in four states looking for bacterial contamination. Of the 85 carts examined, 72 percent turned out to have a marker for fecal bacteria.
E.Coli Bacteria on Half of All Shopping Carts
The researchers took a closer look at the samples from 36 carts and discovered Escherichia coli, more commonly known as E. coli, on 50 percent of them — along with a host of other types of bacteria.
“That’s more than you find in a supermarket’s restroom,” said Charles Gerba, the lead researcher on the study and a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona. “That’s because they use disinfecting cleaners in the restrooms. Nobody routinely cleans and disinfects shopping carts.”
The study’s results may explain earlier research that found that kids who rode in shopping carts were more likely than others to develop infections caused by bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacter, Gerba said.
Bacteria on shopping carts handles aren’t the only thing you need to worry about when you go to the local supermarket, Gerba added. In other research, he’s found that reusable shopping bags that aren’t regularly washed turn into bacterial swamps. “It’s like wearing the same underwear every day,” Gerba said.
How To Avoid Bacteria on Shopping Carts
So what should we do about the problem of bacteria on shopping carts? Well I know that the bright colors and mostly clean floors in a supermarket as well as the really bright lights seem to give an image of cleanliness – false sense of safety. So here are things that you should do when you are in shopping.
1. Never touch your face – As you are probably aware, anytime that you touch your face you are giving a very easy access for bacteria to enter your body.
2. Know that you hands are dirty – Sure you can’t see the dirt but the bacteria can live a while on your hands so make sure that anything that you touch; keys, kids, shopping cart, car, steering wheel,food boxes, meat. Are all dirty.
3. Keep baby wipes or antibacterial wipes with you – I know that some people will say that these wipes will not kill all bacteria but they still do a great job. We keep these in my wifes purse as well as have them in the car (my wife is a bit of a bacteria paranoid.).
So you can see that even the most common areas of society, a place of shopping is really dirty with unseen bacteria. Keep the above tips handy to help make sure that you stay safer. And remember that bacteria on shopping carts is something that you have to be careful of for yourself.