March 1, 2011
Every day, parents blithely drop their toddlers into the baskets of shopping carts, never giving a momentâ€™s thought to who might have had their hands on the handle last. Preliminary results from a new study show that may be a mistake.
Researchers from the University of Arizona swabbed shopping cart handles in four states looking for bacterial contamination. Of the 85 carts examined, 72 percent turned out to have a marker for fecal bacteria.
The researchers took a closer look at the samples from 36 carts and discovered Escherichia coli, more commonly known as E. coli, on 50 percent of them â€” along with a host of other types of bacteria.