If you’re planning on doing the weekly shop in the next few days, do have a read of this Facebook post by Gold Coast mum Vivienne Wardrop – but don’t panic.
Vivienne’s 10-month-old son Logan became seriously ill after contracting salmonella poisoning – thought to have been passed on by a shopping trolley – which then led to meningitis.
Vivienne says she hadn’t been anywhere with her little boy that week other than to do a quick shop, which is why doctors are suggesting the trolley is the source of the contamination.
The strain of Logan getting salmonella poisoning led to meningitis which caused him to be in hospital for 10 days – and he won’t be fully recovered for a couple of weeks.
So do we need to regard supermarket trolleys as a home to bad bugs? Unfortunately the evidence suggests yes. A 2011 US study backs up Vivienne’s suggestion that the shopping trolley was to blame for Logan’s illness.
Researchers from the University of Arizona revealed that 72% of trollies tested in the study had faecal bacteria on them, and they were dirtier than the average toilet – presumably because they’re not disinfected as often. (Gruesome bit – the faecal matter comes from people not washing their hands after visiting the loo.) Half of the trollies also showed traces of E.coli and viruses were discovered on the handles, frame and wire basket area.
It’s not much of a leap to imagine that other bacteria – such as salmonella (which you can find on raw chicken, for example) could well be present too.
On the other hand – bacteria is everywhere in our world – on door knobs, kitchen cloths, phones – all sorts of places, and there are experts who say that exposure to certain bacteria can be good to help build a child’s immunity.
What does this mean for you?
We really feel for the mum and her little boy in this story, but just because this, very unfortunately – happened to them – it doesn’t mean everyone who puts their child in a shopping trolley will have the same experience.
If you are concerned though, then by all means give your trolley a wipe-down as Vivienne suggests – but don’t let her story ruin your shopping fun too much.
Photos: Vivienne Wardrop on Facebook