Hy-Vee implementing automated system to sanitize shopping carts
Hy-Vee is taking store sanitizing amid the pandemic to the next level.
The grocer is installing 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 the sanitation system, called Sterile Cart, in operation. Hy-Vee is the first grocery chain to roll out the fully automated system across its stores.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hy-Vee stores have regularly cleaned carts throughout the day, and made sanitation wipes available where customers grab a cart. The Sterile Cart system eliminates the need to manually clean each cart. It cleans several carts quickly and consistently, eliminating the need for store employees to manually clean each cart.
Additionally, it cleans and sanitizes the entire cart, 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," said Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee. "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."
Sterile Cart is manufactured by Minnesota-based IZZA Manufacturing and distributed by Ultra Green Packaging. According to Ulta Green’s Kristin Davidson, the system was 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 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.