A recent study made by researcher Charles Gerba on the cleanliness of grocery carts concluded that grocery carts are not as clean as they look. This conclusion was made after swabbing and doing analyses of 85 samples of grocery carts in 4 states.
Results of the analyses showed that 72% of the carts were found to have fecal matter present. Half of those positive results also tested positive for the bacteria E. coli. The majority of the spots where E. coli was found were on the handlebars of grocery carts, indicating that a lot of people don’t properly wash their hands after visiting the bathroom.
The same researcher also did a study on the amount of bacteria present on work desks, the result of which stated that teachers’ work desks had the most bacteria and lawyers’ work desks had the least. Results of these types of studies put some people in a tizzy thinking about bacteria present all around.
This kind of cleanliness panic then results in an increase in the use of hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes. Then again, some people take the attitude of bacteria being present as a case of ‘what you don’t know won’t hurt you.’
Bacteria are all around us and no sanitizer or disinfecting wipe can make it all disappear. Also, not all bacteria is harmful, it can be beneficial to humans in many cases. It is just the thought of it that grosses people out.
The two studies done by University of Arizona researcher Charles Gerba were both funded by the company Clorox.