Germs are invading homes in many ways. The stealthy accumulation of germs is posing a grave threat to healthy living.
It is a fact that most groceries from supermarkets are haunted by germs notwithstanding the fascinating shopping ambiance and pride of brands they provide.
According to Charles Gerba, one of the leading microbiologists at the University of Arizona there are many avenues through which microbes are piggybacking on produce without the buyer knowing it.
The germ exposure is highest in meat containers where they breed fast.
Gerba lists out the top germy things in supermarkets which people usually encounter.
- Shopping Cart Handle It may be recalled that bulk of the germs is transmitted through hands during the purchase of grocery at the shopping cart handles, where too much of bacteria load up from the touch of different people. Wiping the handle is most important, notes Gerba. He advises using sanitizing wipes at the store's entry or carrying own wipes to stay secure.
- Produce Aisle: Fresh produce section often doubles up as a hub of germs as an easy point of entry for germs into handles. "I don't know anyone who buys produce without squeezing or touching it," said Gerba. The expert also cautions against buying produce that is cut or torn as they are easy passages of germs. Gerba recommends buying perfect produce that is not split or opened in any manner.
- Meat And Seafood: For the discerning buyer buying meat, poultry, or seafood must be after satisfying that packaging is fault free. If packaging is torn, it is good to forego the item as outlets invite germs. Gerba suggests a double-bagging for meat and seafood before loading it onto the cart and keeping them separate from other produce to avoid cross-contamination.
- Canned Food Products: A study by public health safety group NSF International has suggested mandatory damage-checking on the part of shoppers who are buying boxed and canned goods. It also gives the tip that no swollen or leaking cans must be bought as the likelihood of bacteria contamination will be high, including Clostridium botulinum that causes botulism.
- Fresh Produce At Checkout Belts: There must be special alert regarding buying fresh produce from checkout belt of supermarkets as they offer a field day for germs. This is because poultry, fresh fish, ground meat, and tuna are carrying nutrients that feed the germs on the grocery belt which later extend to the fresh produce.
Legionnaires' Disease From Super Market Bacteria
Many shoppers are also not aware of the risk from misting spray in supermarkets on fresh produce. Actuated by timers, fruits and vegetables are offered sprays. However, they can be a source of Legionella pneumophila bacteria that triggers Legionnaires' disease.
"It's not a problem unless you inhale the droplets," says Connie Morbach, a microbiologist from Sanit-Air a Michigan-based company.
A research conducted by scientists at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine also reported the germ risk from unhygienic smartphones with one out of every six phones contaminated with toilet germs. That study was also led by Charles Gerba, a top microbiologist at the University of Arizona.