Saturday, March 05, 2011

72 Percent!

A new study has found a pair of gloves might be good to have on hand before heading to the supermarket.

The research found an alarming number of shopping cart handles contain traces of fecal bacteria.

A team from the University of Arizona set out, armed with cotton swabs, to find out just how dirty trolleys actually are.

Their research found that 72 percent of the carts they tested in four US states had trace amounts of fecal bacteria on them. About half turned out to have some amount of E. coli bacteria - which is one type of fecal bacteria - on the handles.

"That's more than you find in a supermarket's toilet," lead researcher Dr. Charles Gerba, professor of microbiology at the university said. "That's because they use disinfecting cleaners in the restrooms. Nobody seems to routinely clean and disinfect shopping carts."

Some strains of E. coli are harmless, but others can cause serious illnesses.

Should you forget your gloves or wipes, however, one University of Pennsylvania infectious disease expert told reporters that giving your hands a good wash after a visit to the shop should do the trick just as well.


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