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Hy-Vee becomes first grocery store chain to automate cleaning of shopping carts

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (WEEK) -- An automated cleaning system for grocery carts is coming to Hy-Vee stores.

By mid-November, the company will implement the Sterile Cart system which will be in operation in more than 200 stores across eight states -- a first for any grocery store chain, the company said.

The system cleans several carts quickly and consistently, eliminating the need for store employees to manually clean each cart throughout the day. Additionally, it cleans and sanitizes the entire cart and 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 Hy-Vee, Inc. chairman, CEO and president Randy Edeker. "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 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.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Hy-Vee stores regularly clean carts throughout the day, and have sanitation wipes available where customers grab a cart. This new system eliminates the need to manually clean each cart while providing a more consistent and thorough disinfecting process.

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