The grocery store is a hot spot for germs. With high foot traffic on a daily basis, it’s difficult for workers to keep everything clean. Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, grocery workers are working hard to keep the stores cleaner than ever, but there are still a few places that are notorious for germs and viruses.
ReuseThisBag.com conducted a study that revealed some unusual germ-infested areas of the grocery store. The study was done in 2017, with responses in 10 states and over 100 grocery stores. The type and size of stores varied, so the results are applicable to any grocery store.
Below are the germiest places in the grocery store to avoid on your next shopping trip. Of course, some of these spots are unavoidable, so protect yourself with gloves and wash your hands before and after visiting the store.
7. Shopping Carts
Shopping carts are the dirtiest items in the store because they are used by almost every customer. Hands transfer the most germs, so the handles of the carts are an easy way to spread germs and viruses. For large trips a shopping cart is a must, so be sure to wipe down the cart and handles with disinfectant wipes before shopping. Using gloves will also help prevent the spread of germs.
6. Doors of the Refrigerators
Refrigerator handles are a common surface where germs and viruses can be found. This is another item in the store that your hands come in contact with and can spread germs. Wearing gloves will come in handy when opening these doors. Make sure to immediately dispose of the gloves after you leave the store.
The study found an abundance of germs in the produce section. The reason is that many customers touch and replace produce as they search for the perfect one. You never know how many customers have touched that same fruit or vegetable before you. Buying produce in a sealed bag will likely be safer and contain fewer germs. Another way to avoid germs is to thoroughly wash produce before use and wash your hands when you’re done shopping.
4. Refrigerator Bumpers
Grocery store workers have been instructed to disinfect refrigerator bumpers often, as they are high-touch areas in the store. Customers often come into contact with the bumpers when they reach for an item. To avoid these germy areas, make a habit of not leaning on the bumpers.
3. Self-Checkout Counters
In the self-checkout area, touch screens are used by hundreds of customers to scan items and pay. These touch screens see a lot of traffic and require your fingers to complete your transaction. In addition, there are many other contact points, such as bagging and weighing your items.
2. Credit Card Machines
Another surface full of germs are the credit card machines. Many customers use credit cards these days and use the screen to sign and agree to the charges. Make sure to use gloves and remove them right after you leave the store. Another option is to use hand sanitizer after touching the machine.
1. Bulk Bins
The number one germiest place in the store is the bulk bins. Many stores have closed down these bins due to the coronavirus, as there is no way to keep them clean and safe. They require you to use your hands to scoop the items and you may even catch someone stealing a snack! Either use gloves or find these items pre-packaged if you can.Related: Coronavirus Grocery Shopping Tips