Recently I wrote a post over at my other blog, Daily Donna-Marie: A Dose of Inspiration about the dangers of germs, E.coli, salmonella and other nasty invisible health threats lurking around in our houses, at the barbecue, and the grocery stores in "How much bacteria are you eating?". I know it's gross stuff but very important for parents and caregivers to be aware often. I discussed the fact that even leaving Deli meats in your grocery carriage too long while grocery shopping exposes them to growing bacteria because they are not being refrigerated at the proper temperature.
Well, Lisa Hendey, our dear Catholic Mom friend at Catholic Mom.Com posted recently Grocery shoppers and pyrotechnicians beware exploring Ten Things Your Grocery Store Does Not Want You To Know. which is a short piece that parents, grandparents and caregivers should read. It includes such nasty things as reminding us of the fact that you may be placing your fresh broccoli or other food item in a shopping cart where a toddler or child may have just sat and there may be Ecoli or other germs present.
"According to studies done on shopping carts, more than 60 percent of them are harboring coliform bacteria (the sort more often associated with public toilet seats). “These bacteria may be coming from raw foods or from children who sit in the carts,” says Chuck Gerba, Ph.D., a microbiologist at University of Arizona. “Just think about the fact that a few minutes ago, some kid’s bottom was where you are now putting your broccoli.” According to studies done by Gerba and his colleagues at University of Arizona, shopping carts had more bacteria than other surfaces they tested—even more than escalators, public phones and public bathrooms. To avoid picking up nasty bacteria, Gerba recommends using sanitizing wipes to clean off cart handles and seats, and to wash your hands after you finish shopping."
More helpful information: "Raw produce at the salad bar, pre-made salads at the deli counter and other pre-cooked prepared foods all have the potential for harboring harmful bacteria (like E. coli, salmonella and Norovirus). “The biggest contributors to unsafe food are foods that are held at unsafe temperatures, handling of food by individuals with poor hygiene, and refilling partially used containers of perishable food with fresh food,” says Michael Doyle, Ph.D., director of the Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement at University of Georgia. He recommends that consumers pay attention to cleanliness, freshness (all prepared food should be thrown out if not sold by the end of the day), and way food is stored (cold foods need to be kept at 41 degrees or below; hot foods at greater than 135 degrees). As for those bulk bins of candy and trail mix—while it might be a bit gross to think about people reaching in and “sampling” the goods with their dirty fingers, according to Doyle, the risk of catching anything from them is very low. “Harmful microbes are not likely to grow in bulk-bin foods because most of those foods do not contain enough moisture to support microbial growth,” he says.
So, inform yourselves to prevent some very uncomfortable and even dangerous sicknesses. Read this short article Ten Things Your Grocery Store Does Not Want You To Know and do your own research, as well. Frequent hand washing is a great thing too.