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Don’t Go Shopping for Norovirus

December 10, 2019

Most everyone knows restrooms and high-touch surfaces such as door handles and light switches can harbor disease-causing pathogens, such as norovirus. But as people increase their trips to the store during the busy holiday shopping season another high-touch surface my not be on their minds—shopping carts.

A hospital board in Wales is recommending that people wash their hands with soap and water after shopping trips, the European Cleaning Journal reports. The Swansea Bay University Health Board issued the warning after 75 Swansea hospital patients came down with norovirus over a two-week period.

A study by an online retailer found that three-quarters of supermarket carts across a range of stores in the United Kingdom contained harmful bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella. No doubt shopping carts in the United States are just as germy.

A soap manufacturer has developed a device that attaches to shopping carts and applies a layer of soap that cleans and disinfects the handle. The device is currently being tested in supermarkets in the Middle East. In the meantime, facilities that offer shopping carts to the public should place disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer near the carts and customers should make sure to wash their hands before and after a shopping trip.

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