Grocery Shopping Carts May Have More Germs Than You Think

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-02_cadc01e867.jpgiStock/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- Shopping carts at grocery stores may be more dangerous than you think. Health experts warn that the bacteria found on handles, seats, and carts could contaminate your food. When you put meat in a cart, health experts say bacteria like salmonella can transfer to the seat surface. Also, if a child has a messy diaper while sitting in the seat, microscopic bacteria like E. Coli can be left behind.

A random test of three Tulsa, Oklahoma, grocery stores found germs everywhere, and Tusla nurse Cassie Clayton says microscopic bacteria could last for days on objects.

"We can't even imagine what's on the handles of those shopping carts. We could be getting into E. Coli," Clayton said. "Those pathogens could be on inanimate objects for days."

Experts advise putting meant and vegetables in plastic bags before putting them in your cart to minimize the risk of cross contamination. Researchers also say the sanitizing wipes provided by many grocery stories take at least 10 minutes of contact time to kill pathogens.

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