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Shopping baskets flunk hygiene test

TT/The Local · 31 May 2010, 10:59

Published: 31 May 2010 10:59 GMT+02:00

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In a test of shopping baskets from grocery stores in Bollnäs in central Sweden, none of them passed standards for safe food handling.

Grocery store shopping baskets are pure paradise for bacteria from leaking meat and dairy packaging, among other items. Microorganisms from humans, leaking meat and dairy containers and filth from shop floors all contribute to the unhygienic conditions in the baskets.

The test was carried out on behalf of the newspaper Ljusnan. The baskets basically had nearly the same bacterial level as the floor of the stores.

"It is obvious that the baskets are not clean. They must think like a customer," said Bjorn Walldén, food inspector in the municipality of Bollnäs.

There are no rules in the Food Act governing the hygiene standards and maintenance of shopping baskets and carts.

"We have drawn attention to this to businesses, that they should think about hygiene regarding shopping baskets and carts," added Helena Skoglund, city food inspector.

Although it is obvious that supermarket shopping baskets are filthy, often visible to the naked eye, few store managers actually clean them more than every other month.

The results were classified in three categories: good, bad and inadequate cleaning. Only the first category passed for safe food handling. None of the baskets that were tested by the newspaper ranked in the first category.

Story continues below…

All produced results significantly higher than those classified as poor cleaning. The test included all the major supermarkets in Bollnäs, ICA, Coop, Lidl and Tempo.

To put the amount of bacteria in the baskets in context, each store floor was also tested. The amount of bacteria was only marginally higher than that found on the floor.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:15 May 31, 2010 by Nora
Not a surprise! just take a look to plastic shopping baskets at ICA, Lidel, ...
12:29 May 31, 2010 by Rick Methven
The best and simplest solution is not to put your food directly into the basket/trolly but put them in a bag in the trolly/basket
13:47 May 31, 2010 by bbeynch
Here, again, Sweden can learn from the U.S. Most,if not all, grocey stores and supermarkets in the U.S. now have containers of disinfectant wipes right next to the stack of shopping carts. A few quick wipes of the handle and off you go! PS, When Swedish stores start doing the same, you should give me an award!
17:26 May 31, 2010 by zircon
gataca/ gattaca?
22:20 May 31, 2010 by Beavis
A Swedish supermarket failing a hygene test, shock horror! Id be way more surprised if they actually passed any! A new strict set of rules needs to be drawn up for these stores with huge fines if they are not met.

How hard is it to hose these down once a week or even once a month?

they just dont care about their customers. they need some REAL competition!
00:05 June 1, 2010 by crofab
Since when were all bacteria so harmful? Pure germophobia.
08:08 June 1, 2010 by Rick Methven
"How hard is it to hose these down once a week or even once a month?"

You will find that the majority of Swedish supermarkets do clean trollies and baskets once a week and take out of service for extra cleaning those that have had spillage on them
09:11 June 1, 2010 by DaveN
How on earht have I managed to live for this long regularly using supermarket baskets. I don't know, it seems like there's mortal danger lurking around every corner.
15:20 August 25, 2010 by nicknorway
Hi, Im also disgusted by the shopping baskets and trollies in Norway. I had a discusion with a store yesterday and they couldnt see what the problem was?!!:-(

Its due to the fact nobody else seems to care that there food

is spending time in a filthy basket whilst walking round a store.
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