Iowa’s largest supermarket chain claims it’s the first in the nation to install an automated grocery cart cleansing system, an effort to calm fears about COVID-19.
Hy-Vee spokeswoman Dawn Buzynski says the Sterile Cart system is like a mini car wash for shopping carts. “Customers don’t have to do anything,” Buzynski says. “They grab their cart and it’s fully sanitized by the system, then they return the cart and employees put it through the Sterile Cart system after every use.”
The system has a very small footprint — about four-by-six feet — and it cleans several carts quickly and consistently. She says it eliminates the need for store employees to manually wipe down every cart throughout the day. “Each shopping cart is fully sanitized, not just the high-touch areas, but from top to bottom with a hospital-grade disinfectant,” Buzynski says. “It is 99.9% effective at killing the germs and viruses that cause illnesses, including coronavirus.”
The makers of the system say it can cleanse one to two carts per second. “We want to put our customers’ mind at ease with making sure that we are using the most innovative and effective sanitization measures that are out there,” Buzynski says, “because people shop where they feel safe.”
West Des Moines-based Hy-Vee plans to have the Sterile Cart system installed in about 200 of its stores in eight states by the end of November.
(Photo provided by Hy-Vee)