Well, it appears that there’s no haven when it comes to germs. A recently published study reveals that supermarkets are some of the best breeding grounds for germs, especially E.coli and Clostridium botulinum. This article will show you what to look out the next time you find yourself crossing a supermarket’s threshold.
Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, is the author of a new study which shows how many germs can hide in plain sight. Although the study is focused on items we use or interact with every day like electronic devices, toilet seats, reusable shopping bags, or playground equipment, it also shows how dangerous can supermarkets be in terms of germs.
So, according to Gerba’s list, the filthiest and germ-riddled object found in a supermarket is the shopping cart’s handle. Due to the fact that the shopper’s first instinct when entering a supermarket is to grab a cart, Gerba said that the objects are teeming with germs. The best way to make sure that the icky germs don’t latch onto you is to disinfect the handle using plain sanitizer before you start using it.
Moving on, Gerba said that we should be extra careful around the produce and meat and seafood aisles because they are also considered good breeding grounds for bacteria. The researcher said that it would be best to avoid buying anything split or cut in half like meat. Also, we should also refrain from buying out meat-based or sea food-based products if we see that they have torn packages.
As far as canned food products are concerned, Gerba said that even tightly sealed cans can become homes to dangerous germs, especially if proper food safety protocols weren’t observed. The thumb rule when it comes to buying out canned food is to stay away from cans that are rusty, swollen, or torn.
Gerba warns that swollen or otherwise damaged cans present a high risk of bacterial contamination, including the nefarious Clostridium botulinum, the germ responsible for botulism.
Finally, we should definitely stay away from any of the fresh products laying around the checkout belts, as Gerba said that they contain nutrients which feed off lots of germs. Another good piece of advice offered by the researcher is to remember to bring a bottle of hand sanitizer with you each time you visit the supermarket.
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