What's Really Lurking On Shopping Cart Handles? - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

What's Really Lurking On Shopping Cart Handles?

No grocery store is a stranger to germs.  All the people who go in and out are sure to share invisible bacteria.  But a new study found out exactly what type of germs are on the shopping carts.

if you think bread, milk, and other items are the only things in your shopping cart, think again.
  
"It's just so many hands on the baskets, and they're used for so many things throughout the store," said grocery manager Aaron Bristow.

You may know there are germs galore on carts, but just how bad are they?  A recent study by the University of Arizona swabbed 85 shopping cart handles in four states, and checked it out under a microscope.  72% of them came back with markers for fecal bacteria. 
 
You've probably seen the sanitation wipes at a store near you, which Bristow says are quite popular.

"We go through a lot of those.  A lot of people wait on the wipes, or if we don't have any they'll ask us to get a new case out," Bristow said.

"I use the wipes they have at the front of the store," said shopper Daryl Trotta.

"I do, and I highly recommend it," said Rita Jean Underwood.

But lots of people walk right on by the sanitation station.

"I honestly never think of it.  I'm kind of in a hurry every time I come in," said Travis Stegner.

But knowing the study also found E-coli on 50% of the carts studied might make wipes seem inadequate.  Aside from sanitary wipes, some stores have measures in place to help you get a

"We have a crew that comes out and does pressure-wash cleaning.  You know, every few months they'll come out and just spray down all the carts and do everything," Bristow said.

Hearing the yucky details has Trotta thinking more about the whole shopping cart, especially where here daughter sits.

"Now I'm gonna have to wipe off there as well," she said.

"Hearing' that, I'll probably start doing that every time I come in," Stegner said.

Bristow also says keeping people clean is perhaps easier than keeping carts clean.  That's why they have six or seven anti-bacterial hand washing stations throughout the store.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6

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