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COVID-19: Hy-Vee starts using automated system to disinfect shopping carts

By mid-November, more than 200 Hy-Vee stores will have this system in place.

Hy-Vee has introduced an automated system that cleans shopping carts using a disinfectant it says kills germs, including the coronavirus. 

The grocery chain says by mid-November more than 200 Hy-Vee stores in the eight states it serves will have these fully automated sanitization systems. 

“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.

According to Hy-Vee, this system cleans several carts quickly and consistently – and it cleans the entire cart, not just the handles and high-touch areas. This eliminates the need for employees to manually clean each cart throughout the day. 

Buffalo, Minnesota-based IZZA Manufacturing built this system and is distributed by Mound-based Ultra Green Packaging, which says this system was conceived specifically to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

“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,” Kristin Davidson of Ultra Green 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.”

The Sterile Cart System, which uses a low-pressure spray system and a dry-in place disinfectant, can be installed where shopping carts are returned and staged for customer use, Hy-Vee says.

Hy-Vee says it is the first retail grocery chain to implement this system.

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