New gadget will help kill germs at grocers

HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) - By Sherea Harris

HOMEWOOD, AL (WBRC) -  A new product promises to help stop the spread of germs at grocery stores. Consumers put groceries and children in shopping carts. Those carts may have bacteria.

A Birmingham company created a machine called "The Sanitizit System."

All it takes is about four seconds to clean not just the handle, but the entire shopping cart.

Oak Mountain Solutions designed the machines after learning how much of a threat shopping carts are to consumers. The carts can have bacteria on them that can live for a long time and spread illness.

Some stores provide wipes for customers for cleaning the handle.

Oak Mountain Solutions didn't think that was enough.

The machine is easy to use. Customers just push a button, roll the cart through the machine and a quick-drying sanitizing mist covers it.

"It's a food-safe sanitizer that you might use in a restaurant or the back of a grocery store, on food utensils," said Doug Sappington, President of Oak Mountain Solutions. "It kills germs, but it's safe for your hands and safe for consumers."

Piggly Wiggly's customer Deanne Vail says, "I think it's a great product. I think it's going to be wonderful for families and controlling hopefully sickness."

I spoke with a doctor today who says germs that cause hepatitis, strep, and influenza can live on surfaces like shopping cart handles. It's  important for people to clean them.

You'll find the "Sanitizit" machines at the Piggly Wiggly locations in Homewood, Liberty Park, and one is coming soon to the location in Crestline. Two were shipped to Kroger stores in Oregon for a test run.

There are similar machines in other parts of the country.

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