Study: Shopping cart handles are full of bacteria

Jim Hanzo
June 04, 2018 - 7:53 am

It could be one of the filthiest surfaces around and we use them constantly.   They are the shopping carts in grocery stores.  

Those carts were found to carry Salmonella, and E. Coli, and other organisms according to studies out of the University of Arizona.  

Dr. Jeffery Hobden, LSU Health New Orleans Microbiology says much of the bacteria come from what's inside the grocery stores themselves. 

"There are a lot of foods like raw chicken and raw beef and even some produce that could contaminate it with bacteria that could cause gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea," Hobden said.  "When you put those in your shopping cart, you're just transferring stuff from your raw chicken to your cart."   

Also 72 percent contained coliform bacteria  suggesting that fecal matter is also involved in the contamination of most shopping carts.  

What you should do?  Wipe down those handles with wet wipes.  Most stores provide those when you walk in, but it's good idea to have some handy just in case.  

"If you think about it, people compare the shopping carts to public restrooms, the restrooms are usually cleaned and sanitized on a routine basis but shopping carts, I have no idea if they're cleaned," Hobden said.    

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