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Beware Of Grocery Carts

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Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

If you’re like me, when you walk into your grocery store, you find a cart and head out into the jungle of temptation.

Then with a glance of your list, you point your hand operated, squeaky wheeled vehicle with one floppy front tire into the direction of needs. Walking at a much faster pace by now, people can tell by the look on your face that you know what isle has what in this place.

You feel in total control. But you’re really not. There’s something drastically wrong here, and you don’t even realize it.

The next time you run into your grocery store and grab a cart, beware. The handle of that shopping cart could very well be coated in E. coli bacteria or fecal bacteria.

A team led by University of Arizona microbiology professor Dr. Charles Gerba swabbed 85 grocery cart handles in four states looking for bacterial contamination. They found that 72% harbored fecal bacteria, and upon closer examination, 50% had E. coli bacteria, as well as a host of other germs.

Previous research has shown that children who ride in shopping carts are more likely than others to develop infections caused by salmonella.

Next time you shop, help yourself to the wet wipes. There happens to be a reason they’re near the carts in most stores.

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