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- Shopping Carts: Think about it: Shopping carts are constantly pawed by countless hands, some of which are rather grubby. According to research performed by Dr. Charles Gerba, professor of soil, water and environmental science at the University of Arizona, as many as 80 percent of shopping carts in some regions of the United States are contaminated with fecal bacteria. When cleaning, be sure to target shopping carts, especially the handle area, to reduce the risk of colds and flu.
- Keyboards: The register is usually manned by more than one person throughout the day, and whoever the staffer is also shares germs with customers if they’re running items, bagging, etc. Self-service kiosks are problematic in much the same way, only directly for customers. Keyboards can actually harbor more than 200 times as many bacteria than a toilet seat.
- Elevator Buttons: If you have an elevator in your store(s), do you have any idea how many people use it per day? Bacteria can survive on surfaces for as long as 72 hours, and the No. 1 place in the elevator to harbor those germs is, ironically, labeled with the number “1”: the first-floor elevator button.
- Phones: Phones located in the store, whether used over the loudspeaker, for communicating internally or for talking to outside parties, are shared by a lot of employees. Office phones can harbor more than 25,000 germs per square inch. Encourage staff to wipe off phones with sanitizing wipes after using them.
- Drinking Fountains: Drinking fountains are often neglected in the cleaning process. Some school drinking fountains have been shown to harvest as many as 2.7 million bacteria per square inch on the spigot -- and other drinking fountains aren’t far behind.
Peter J. Sheldon Sr., CBSE, brings over 18 years of experience in the building services contracting industry to his position as VP of operations of Boca Raton, Fla.-based Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System. Sheldon works closely with the Coverall sales and operations teams to spearhead initiatives that further the company’s strategic objectives and help it develop the most efficient and innovative cleaning processes available. Sheldon is among the elite group of building service professionals to qualify for the Certified Building Service Executive designation.