A bottle of hand sanitizer can help

Published 7:05 pm Saturday, November 22, 2008

It has almost become second nature to walk into a grocery store or a shopping mall and grab a cart for the groceries or items that were being sought.

One thing that is almost never on the shoppers mind is the germ(s) they are spreading and picking up through touching the shopping cart. According to a story on ABC News a shopping cart handle has more germs than a public restroom. The University of Arizona participated in a study that showed germs on several different surfaces including shopping carts, public bathrooms escalators, public telephones, playground equipment, bus rails and more. According to their research shopping carts had higher germ counts due to saliva, bacteria and fecal matter. The only surfaces with a higher count of germs were playground equipment and bus rails.

“There are definitely a large amount of germs on shopping carts as well as many other surfaces. No matter what you or your child are touching it is important to wash your hands and to try and not place your fingers near your mouth,” Chilton County Department of Health Clinic Supervisor LuDean Hicks said.

There are many things that we place in a cart while shopping that can create illness, especially in a young child. When buying groceries you often place raw meat and other bacteria infested products into the back of your cart if not in the seat where another person may sit their small child. If that child touches the cart where the meat or bacteria was sitting then places their hand in his or her mouth before the cart has been cleaned, they have a greater chance of becoming ill and even death.

Some stores are now working on a way of cleaning their carts after each person uses them to help prevent the spreading of germs.

“It is a good idea to keep hand sanitizer with you when you have a small child to help keep the germ count down around them for health purposes,” Hicks said.