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Is the Grocery Store Making You Sick?

By Sara Butler

The grocery store is where you go to get foods to nourish your body, but you may be picking up more than you bargained for. Because so many people go through a store and touch every surface, there are a few places that you can pick up germs that will make you ill. With cold and flu season fast approaching, you should take extra precautions at the store to avoid these areas -- or at least do something to minimize your risk. Here's what you need to know!

Freezer Doors

The handles on the freezer doors in the store are touched my possibly thousands of people each day. Studies have found that they have more bacteria per square inch than a smartphone screen, which is an infamously dirty surface.

Don't worry too much because there's an easy fix. All you need to do is keep a small pack of antibacterial gel or wipes for you to use after your visit to the freezer aisle.

Meat Packaging

The packaged poultry and meat can have a lot of bacteria lurking on it. Things like E. coli can get on your hand, then spread to your cart, and transfer to other items. But avoiding this is fairly simple. All you need to do is use a produce bag. Turn it inside out over your hand and grab the meat through the bag, then bring the bag up over the package and tie it shut. This strategy can help you to avoid cross-contamination and keep you healthy.

Dirty Shopping Carts

The handles on shopping carts are full of germs that you would expect to find in a public bathroom and these germs can live on the surface for hours. If you grab the cart, then touch everything else you buy along with your face along the way, then you have a good chance of getting really ill.

To fix this issue, put to use the antibacterial wipes many stores offer near the carts (or entryway) to wipe down the handle. Let it dry for about 20 seconds before you grab it and go. This should be enough to kill what was on the surface and help you avoid picking it up.

Public places can be difficult to navigate when in the throes of cold and flu season, but it's not impossible. As long as you have a few simple strategies in place, you can leave the store with only the items you wanted to buy and not have any unsavory stowaways hiding in your purchases!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mission Viejo, Calif.

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