Often I wonder why we make such a fuss in hospital settings about washing our hands when daily bugs are being spread happily and thoughtlessly at the supermarkets through their far from clean carts and shopping baskets.
I have seen adults sitting their young charges in carts meant to hold meat, fish, veggies, fruits and other groceries.
U may ask what’s wrong with that?
A lot but most specifically because the kids are wearing shoes or slippers that could have been anywhere — including public toilets — and such footwear is happily sharing common space in the shopping cart with stuff we are going to put into our fridges and stomachs and on our dining tables!
Ditto the fact that the carts are used multiple times daily without being cleaned. I have seen lines of carts being returned straight from the trolley park to the supermarket. I don’t know if they are cleaned at the end of the day but judging from the state of many carts, I doubt if they are cleaned even once a week!
Then there are the shopping baskets. True, kids and their dirty footwear don’t get into the baskets, but anyone who has been in a supermarket would have noticed that the outer bottoms of these baskets regularly scoop up the dirt and other bugs on the supermarket floors.
Few shoppers will continuously carry their shopping baskets as they load up and most particularly when they are queuing up to pay.
Baskets are left on the floor as shopper browse the shelves and then select their purchases. Baskets are left on the floor as their temporary owners stand in line at the check-out queue, gently nudging their basket forward every time they move up the line.
So the bottoms of shopping baskets scrape, scrape the dirty floor till they get to the cashier. When they are emptied and the goods paid for, the check-out person will stack them up, so that each dirty outer bottom will stand on and contaminate the inner bottom of the basket it stands on.
Can you blame me then for helping myself to plastic bags to insulate the fruits and veggies not already pre-packed from the array of germs that lurk in every shopping cart and basket?
And to think that Pei once fretted just because parents allowed their fully shod kids stand on MRT and bus seats!