Hy-Vee automates cleaning of shopping carts

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Hy-Vee automates cleaning of shopping carts

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  — Hy-Vee Inc. is introducing an automated system that fully cleans and sanitizes shopping carts after each use. More than 200 Hy-Vee stores across the retailer’s eight-state region will have a Sterile Cart system in operation by mid-November, the retailer said, adding that it is the first grocery chain to implement the fully automated sanitization system across its company.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been our desire to put Hy-Vee customers’ minds at ease with thorough sanitization measures,” Hy-Vee chairman, president and CEO Randy Edeker said. “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.”

The system cleans and sanitizes entire shopping carts — not just the handles and high-touch areas — quickly and automatically, using a low-pressure spray system and a dry-in-place hospital-grade disinfectant. Installed where a store’s shopping carts are returned, the cleaning device eliminates the need to have employees clean the carts throughout the day.

Sterile Cart is manufactured by Minnesota-based IZZA Manufacturing and distributed by Ultra Green Packaging. Kristin Davidson, president 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,” Davidson said. “The system ships fully assembled, takes up minimal space and sanitizes 1-2 carts per second. The Sterile Cart system provides peace of mind knowing that the carts are cleaned after every use.”

Hy-Vee notes that its stores have been regularly cleaning carts throughout the day since the beginning of the pandemic, and has kept sanitation wipes available where customers grab carts. This new system eliminates the need to manually clean each cart while providing a more consistent and thorough disinfecting process, the retailer said.


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