I hate Peter Leo.

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Peter Leo’s Morning File in Friday’s Post-Gazette was all about shopping carts and contains this little gem:

After you read this item, you might think twice about putting food in a shopping cart. Turns out they are filthier than public washrooms, which at least get cleaned regularly, The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported last year. University of Arizona researchers tested 1,100 public surfaces for germs. Shopping cart handles turned out to be among the dirtiest — after children’s playground equipment and public bus rails and armrests. About half of shopping cart handles weren’t frequently cleaned, the study said. Twenty-one percent tested positive for bodily fluids. Enjoy your breakfast.

Let’s all ponder a bit on how body fluid ends up on something other than the insides of our bodies.

Let’s all try not to puke on our monitors.

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be the hot chick walking everywhere with hand sanitizer in my belt, latex gloves on my hands, a can of Lysol in my purse, and my hands perpetually raised in the “I just scrubbed my hands” surgeon pose.

Hat tip to reader Toni.


  1. GenieBottle
    February 20, 2007 8:26 am

    Glad to see that some stores – Giant Eagles (not all though) have put those Clorox wipes dispenses near where you pick up your cart before entering the store. I use ten of them to wipe off the handles each time. I am called a major germophobe and I don’t care.

  2. Sofa King
    February 20, 2007 9:10 am

    We have those here now, too. I like to give myself a quick sponge-bath with them after I’m done shopping. Sure, it attracts attention, but cleanliness is godliness!

  3. Zsa
    February 20, 2007 9:33 am

    I think we’re all going nuts with this anti-germ stuff. Our office gave hand sanitizer to everyone, which I refuse to use – I like to keep the skin attached to my hands, thanks.

  4. spoon
    February 20, 2007 3:55 pm

    I bet my work keyboard is dirtier than a shopping cart. Oh hey, there’s some left over wing sauce from lunch!

  5. Caryn
    February 20, 2007 4:34 pm

    I make sure to never touch a door handle in public, books at the library (I wear latex gloves baby!), babies in general (little germ machines), animals, trees (you never know what rubbed up against them), the ground (super yucky) and air in general. Germs are everywhere!!! Run away!!!

    Jeez – any scare tactic for ratings during sweeps – and they did this one the last two years in a row (at least). Yawn. For germphobes – live in a plastic bubble a la John Travolta and his early (pre-Scientology career). Yikes.

  6. PittCheMBA
    February 20, 2007 6:56 pm

    The Giant Eagle I go to has giant hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrance/exit.

  7. GenieBottle
    February 21, 2007 9:57 am

    What is wrong with trying to keep free of germs?

  8. GenieBottle
    February 21, 2007 10:00 am

    Here is something ever more gross and/or disgusting. I have actually witnessed people (men mostly and little kids whose mommies and daddies think they are just the cutest) sticking their hands in those areas where they keep bulk salad items. Oh yeah, and right before, they have had their hands somewhere else. Makes you want to go right in and dish up a bowl or two.

  9. Caryn
    February 21, 2007 1:26 pm

    GenieBottle: There is nothing wrong with acting within reason to avoid germs, but you describe yourself as a “germphobe” and a phobia is an unnatural fear or aversion to something. You can certainly take precautions, carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands frequently (and please everyone do so after using the bathroom!), but germs are part of the environment, and we develop immunity to most of them. In fact, we only develop immunity AFTER exposure. As for the bulk salad thing – how do think the salad was picked, packed and unpacked. With bare hands. When I was a waitress, I almost laughed when people asked if the kitchen staff wore gloves to make everything. No – they wash with disinfectant soap. Anyway, just trying to get the germphobes to lighten up, and to show the media will play on your fears…….but maybe that’s not possible.

  10. Zsa
    February 21, 2007 2:50 pm

    I agree with Caryn. I think the increased GERMS!!!! AAAAACCCHHH!!! is one of the reasons we see so many more kids and adults with allergies. If you haven’t rented “Safe”, do so quickly.

    There are lines I draw though – such as when I was working at SubWay and people either STOOD or SAT their small children on the counter where I sat the food when it was ready to go (and it wasn’t on a tray, either). I don’t know which was worse, the bottoms of shoes or the baby bottoms that may have had poop in them.

  11. GenieBottle
    February 22, 2007 7:36 am

    In my poor days I too worked at a restaurant or two and was disgusted. I am just stating that it does not hurt to take precautions. I have no problem with the media giving us a little info on things we could watch out for. Sometimes they go a little far. I would just rather not have my hands on something that was just touched by some man who just relieved himself and did not wash or by some kid who just pulled a big honker out of his nose. I guess I am fussy that way.