A Victoria-area grocery store is the first in Canada to implement a new COVID-19-fighting technology to keep its shopping carts clean.
Quality Foods has installed a “clean cart” machine at its View Royal location, which gives carts a 20-second blast of far-UV light, which which provides 99.9 per cent disinfection.
“It was an idea just a few short months ago,” Quality Foods president Noel Hayward told Global News.
“Six months later, here’s the machine. It’s a proof of concept. It’s one of only two that have been made, it’s the first one that’s gone into use in Canada. It’s exciting.”
The device, created by PCL Construction and Sterilray, is not harmful to humans.
The Clean Cart machine can also be used to clean shopping baskets, or even a shopper’s groceries in the cart, so long as they’re exposed to the UV radiation.
Shopper Pauline Swain told Global News the device gave her peace of mind to shop.
“You know for sure that it’s clean,” she said.
Barbara Daly said she liked the machine because she was able to ensure her cart was sanitized herself.
“Otherwise, you don’t know if they’re cleaning them or not in between,” she said.
Hayward said the response has been overwhelming, with more than 300 people per day using the device.
It was such a smashing success that the company decided to order machines for its other 12 locations on Vancouver Island and Powell River before the View Royal pilot project was finished.
“This is the best way to sanitize a grocery cart. We can wipe down the handles all we want, but what about the rest of the surfaces? This really solves that problem.”
He said he expects the machines to remain popular even when COVID-19 has come and gone, noting that people had frequently used sanitary wipes to clean their carts before shopping before the pandemic.