The Germiest Place in Your Grocery Store

Heather Chaet

gross shopping cartsNew York City, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! I love the museums, Central Park, the 24-hour access to almost anything you could ever need (from diapers to dreidels to deep-fried catfish). Yup, I'm a city gal. The thought of living in the 'burbs, driving everywhere (even with GasBuddy), gives me a serious case of the heebee-jeebees. 

Then I read about a study that tested the cleanliness of shopping carts at grocery stores. A whopping 72% tested positive for (gulp) fecal matter. We're talking poop, people. Of those contaminated carts, 50% had not only poop, but E. coli, that nasty little bacteria that can make you or your wee one pretty sick.

Oh, I am so glad I don't live in the suburbs.

I can't remember the last time I pushed a shopping cart -- and I don't think my kid has ever been in the little seatamajig. I hardly ever go to a grocery store. I order my groceries online and have them delivered to me. It's easy. I can click on what I want, choose the day and time of arrival and -- poof! -- I have Eggo waffles and whipped cream without ever having to step into a store.

Now, if I go to an actual store like Fairway or Trader Joe's, there's a whole "city mom" way of doing shopping that still doesn't involve pushing a cart. Remember, most of us city folks don't own a car. Whatever you buy, you have to be able to carry home or sling over the handles of your stroller.  If you grab a cart, more than likely, you will it up with so much stuff, you won't be able to walk more than four blocks without straining your back. I just fill up the top of my stroller, which acts as a kind of pseudo basket. It actually holds a lot, but not so much that it will make it impossible to get home.

For those of you who do live in SuburbWorld, the scientists that did the study said not to fret (too much). Just bring some antibacterial wipes with you and wipe down the cart handle and the kiddie seat before you plonk Junior in there. 

Who knows, maybe this study will get store owners to clean those carts every once and a while.

Do you wipe down your grocery cart handle?

Image via dottieg2007/Flickr

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