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WBNS-10TV Columbus, Ohio | Columbus News, Weather & Sports |

Experts: Grocery store carts are rolling Petri dishes for bacteria

Columbus Public Health says it's important consumers wipe the handles with sanitizing wipes.

"Disgusting", "Germ filled" and "gross."

That's how shoppers describe their feelings about grocery shopping carts.

If you wonder if you need to clean your grocery cart consider this study by the University of Arizona. It did a random sample of grocery carts in West Coast cities and found 50% were found to carry E. coli and 72% contained coliform bacteria.

"Before you eat anything before you even change your contact lenses in your eyes and you've been in any public setting, you need to go wash your hands," Dr. Mysheika W. Roberts, Columbus Public Health Commissioner, said.

She said washing your hands means washing them with your hands towards the drain to ensure the dirty suds fall away from you.

She says wiping your hands with a paper towel or air dry is fine, but don't dry your hands on your clothes.

Consumer Reports just listed the top supermarkets across the country based on prices and cleanliness. You can read the report here.

Experts say shopping carts are Petri dishes for bacteria considering the number of hands that touch them every day. What kind of bacteria are we talking about? E-coli, Staph infection, the Flu and Salmonella.

"The same would be true for doorknobs handrails the elevator buttons that are in public places that are used a lot and are not cleaned on a regular basis," Dr. Roberts said.