DES MOINES, Iowa — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hy-Vee will become the first retail grocery store chain to implement a fully automated cart sanitization system across its company.
The company expects the system to be rolled out in over 200 stores by mid-November. It is fully automated, and will clean several carts at a time after every use, eliminating the need for store employees to manually clean each cart throughout the day. It also cleans and sanitizes the entire cart, not just the handles and other 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, CEO and president of Hy-Vee, Inc. "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 to clean carts. It is only six feet by four feet, making it easy to install where shopping carts are returned and staged for customer use.
The system was manufactured by IZZA Manufacturing, based in Buffalo, Minnesota, and distributed by Ultra Green Packaging.
“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,” said Kristen Davidson of Ultra Green. “The Sterile Cart system provides peace of mind knowing that the carts are cleaned after every use.”