Riding in Shopping Carts and Exposure to Raw Meat and Poultry Products: Prevalence of, and Factors Associated with, This Risk Factor for Salmonella and Campylobacter Infection in Children Younger Than 3 Years

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Abstract:

Riding in a shopping cart next to raw meat or poultry is a risk factor for Salmonella and Campylobacter infections in infants. To describe the frequency of, and factors associated with, this behavior, we surveyed parents of children aged younger than 3 years in Foodborne Disease Active Surveillance Network sites. We defined exposure as answering yes to one of a series of questions asking if packages of raw meat or poultry were near a child in a shopping cart, or if a child was in the cart basket at the same time as was raw meat or poultry. Among 1,273 respondents, 767 (60%) reported that their children visited a grocery store in the past week and rode in shopping carts. Among these children, 103 (13%) were exposed to raw products. Children who rode in the baskets were more likely to be exposed than were those who rode only in the seats (odds ratio [OR], 17.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 11.0 to 28.9). In a multivariate model, riding in the basket (OR, 15.5; 95% CI, 9.2 to 26.1), income less than $55,000 (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.0 to 3.1), and Hispanic ethnicity (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.2 to 4.5) were associated with exposure. Our study shows that children can be exposed to raw meat and poultry products while riding in shopping carts. Parents should separate children from raw products and place children in the seats rather than in the baskets of the cart. Retailer use of leak-proof packaging, customer placement of product in a plastic bag and on the rack underneath the cart, use of hand sanitizers and wipes, and consumer education may also be helpful.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, MS C-23, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA 2: New York State Department of Health, Emerging Infections Program, ESP, Corning Tower, Room 651, Albany, New York 12237, USA 3: Connecticut Emerging Infections Program, 1 Church Street, 7th Floor, New Haven, Connecticut 06510, USA 4: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, MS C-23, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA; University of Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado, Denver–Anschutz Medical Campus, Building 500, Room W3146, 13001 East 17th Place, MS B119, Aurora, Colorado 80045, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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