Can your shopping cart really kill you? Investigating drug overdose claims

(WFLA) — Can your shopping cart handle kill you? 8 On Your Side investigated the concern of fentanyl found on shopping cart handles.

What started as a simple Facebook warning went viral very quickly. The fact that it was a police department post put fear into the hearts of millions of shoppers.

Twenty-one inches wide and easy to wrap your hands around, but deadly? Some say yes, if your shopping cart handle has traces of the deadly drug fentanyl. It’s a potent opioid 40 to 50 times stronger than heroin.

Earlier this week, the Leachville Police Department in Arkansas posted a warning message on Facebook.

The Leachville Police Chief suggested of other shoppers, “If they have fentanyl or something like that still on their hands and they touch that cart handle and then you do, it can get into your system.”

Dr. Alfred Aleguas with the Florida Poison Control Center helps us set the record straight.

“It’s, well, ridiculous. It’s like such an overreaction,” he said. “And obviously if you think about it, it would have gotten there from someone and they would have had it on their hands, so how much a risk would they have taken. So it really makes no sense.”

To date, there have been no verified cases of this happening.

But the one thing 8 On Your Side can confirm? Hundreds of hands wrap their fingers around shopping cart handles every day and that means germs.

Dr. Aleguas says by all means, a sanitizing swipe wouldn’t hurt.

“I think if you were worried about the Noro virus or all the cold virus and flu, yeah, that’s probably not a bad idea,” he said.

So if anything, let this be a good reminder that cold and flu season is here.

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