WEST DES MOINES, Iowa—Since the beginning of the pandemic, shoppers have hesitated to use grocery carts and shopping baskets. Now, Hy-Vee has introduced an automated cleaning system that fully cleans and sanitizes shopping carts after every use. By mid-November, more than 200 Hy-Vee stores across its eight-state region will have a Sterile Cart system in operation. Hy-Vee is the first grocery chain to implement the fully automated sanitization system across its company.
This innovative system cleans several carts quickly and consistently, eliminating the need for store employees to manually clean each cart throughout the day. Additionally, it cleans and sanitizes the entire cart and not just the handles and high-touch areas.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been our desire to put Hy-Vee customers’ minds at ease with thorough sanitization measures. We are always looking at innovative ways to improve store operations, improve the shopping experience for customers and, most importantly, ensure the health and safety of our customers and our employees,” said Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee, Inc., in a press release.
Sterile Cart is manufactured by IZZA Manufacturing and distributed by Ultra Green Packaging. Kristin Davidson of Ultra Green said the system was conceived and designed specifically to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. “The Sterile Cart system uses a hospital-grade disinfectant that is proven to kill 99.9% of germs and viruses that cause illnesses, including coronavirus,” said Davidson. “The system ships fully assembled, takes up minimal space and sanitizes one to two carts per second.”
The Sterile Cart system uses a low-pressure spray system and a dry-in-place disinfectant. It has a small footprint (6x4 feet) and can easily be installed where shopping carts are returned and staged for customer use. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hy-Vee stores regularly clean carts throughout the day, and have sanitation wipes available where customers grab a cart.
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