Police: Germs, not drugs, are only worry for dirty shopping cart handles

FLINT (WJRT) (11/10/2017) - Most grocery stores offer wipes to clean off and disinfect shopping cart handles.

But a circulating Facebook post has people concerned about picking up something much more dangerous -- residue from illicit drugs. Michigan State Police say that is not the case, but handles should be cleaned before use anyway.

"Carts at the grocery store, there are so many little hands that are all over the handles," said Michigan State Police Tropper Amy Belanger. "Most stores offer the antibacterial wipes. I highly suggest you use them, because it is actually shown that 4 out of 5 shopping carts contain E. coli, all sorts of bacteria from people."

Some people believe if germs can be transferred easily to the handles, so can residue from potent drugs like fentanyl. That's an even bigger concern when children are riding in carts and touching the handles.

"It is highly unlikely," Belanger said. "Most people, the biggest thing you have to worry about is the germs and the E. coli that come from it."

She said acknowledged a recent article making the rounds on social media raised the concern. But she pointed out someone likely would get hurt in the process of transferring drug residue onto a shopping cart.

"Just because fentanyl is such a potent and dangerous drug, the chances of someone actually being able to put it on a shopping cart and not hurt themselves by doing it, it highly unlikely," Belanger said.

She said drug experts back up the conclusion that the chances of drug residue getting onto shopping carts is rather remote.

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