Here’s a shocking headline that could send you into a panic, “E. coli found on 50 percent of shopping carts”. That headline appeared on MSNBC.com this morning. Wow, 50%! And worse yet, those “green” reusable shopping bags, oh my god, they’re the worst. Using these was compared to continually putting on dirty underwear. I guess nobody washes them?
Before you mothers panic and never put your kid in a shopping cart again, let’s go over a couple of things. First, these “shock” headlines ought to be outlawed. The more shocking the better, but if you read the article you find out this one was really pushing the shock value. Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time these headlines are misleading or false.
How many shopping carts in 4 states do you think they tested to come up with this shocking result? Eight-five! That’s right, 85 carts, and 72% had some form of bacteria on the handle, and of that 72%, half of those had Escherichia coli, known to most of us as the deadly E-coli. My math skills aren’t that strong, but that works out to 31 carts in 4 states with traces of E-coli resulted in that headline.
And, to make it even more “heinous,” doctors in the study wouldn’t state what danger there was of a child getting ill from being placed in the bacteria-laden shopping cart seat, or even sucking on the handle for that matter. One doctor cited, claimed there was little or no danger to the child at all.
Let’s take that last physician’s opinion a step further. How long have we been using shopping carts without fear of bacterial infection ? Mothers listen up. You’re harming your child with all this hyper-cleaning. Exposure to germs helps build immune systems. Germ-free homes can make your child more likely to hook up with a bacteria at school or the otherwise outside world. Be reasonable, but stop the OCD behavior before it’s too late.
And finally, where do you think this E-coli bacteria came from? Maybe from the dirty-diapered babies being put into or taken out of the seat? Ya think? So wash those re-useable shopping bags once in a while, and use those bacterial wipes that are now provided at the cart pick-up and swab down the handle. I think we’ll successfully prevent an E-coli outbreak.