grocery cart handles
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Shopping Cart Handles

Saliva. Bacteria. Fecal matter. Those are just a few of the choice substances Gerba found on shopping cart handles. Carts rank high on the yuck scale because they’re handled by dozens of people every day and you’re “putting your broccoli where some kid’s butt was,” says the professor of environmental microbiology. And, of course, raw food carries nasty pathogens.

Reduce the risk: Many stores have a dispenser with disinfectant wipes near the carts. If yours doesn’t, bring your own and give the handle a quick swab; that’s been shown to kill nearly 100% of germs. Or carry along a cart cover, like the Grip-Guard or Healthy Handle, a dishwasher-safe polypropylene cover that fits over any size cart handle. At the meat counter, follow the lead of Elizabeth Scott, PhD, co-director of the Center for Hygiene and Health at Simmons College in Boston: “I always put raw meat in a plastic bag. If I get some juice on my hands, I ask the person behind the counter for a disinfecting wipe.”

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