CHOICE membership

Hand sanitizers at supermarket entrances

  1. I have noticed very recently that most of our local supermarkets have “relaxed” a lot. Woolworths continue to have hand sanitizer with a staff member ensuring it is used at the entrance. . This to me seems a very good way of reducing the contamination of items and surfaces within the store. I am wondering why this simple action is not undertaken at all stores and if it is as beneficial as I expect.
  2. At the self checkout at a store (not woollies) the staff member is wiping surfaces between customers but is rarely using fresh sanitizer. HoW effective is this? I would have thought it was important to use a fresh spray of sanitizer between customers not just the one wet cloth.
    I’ll be interested in comments please…
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Both our local Coles and Woollies had hand sanitizer and paper wipes installed at the entrances long before the coronavirus arrived, and our local Supa IGA did likewise as soon as it occured.

The manned checkout staff at all 3 use hand sanitizer after every customer and Coles and Woollies spray and wipe their self service terminals LCD screens, scanner/scales and EFTPOS keypads after every customer.

The Supa IGA has set up a trolley cleaning bay in the carpark just outside the entrance and the handbar of each trolley is cleaned before being returned to the trolley bay.

I also see staff cleaning the carry handles on the plastic shopping baskets at the stores.

They all appear to be doing everything reasonably possible here.

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Every Woolworths in Tassie has the hand sanitiser at the point of entry and a security officer reminding everyone it is there. Up until about 10 days ago, they had an employee dispensing the sanitiser until they installed the automatic one… I have noticed that Coles here are a lot more lax and didn’t have the hand sanitiser a fortnight ago when last there.

Woolworths store personnel also wipe the trolley and basket handles when they are returned to the collection area.

It removes a point of contact and transfer. As customers have touched the items in their trolley and potentially touched their faces when shopping (which is near impossible for most not to do), this means the items have the potential to be contaminated with the virus (if the person was infected).

Wiping down the checkout conveyor reduces the likelihood it will be transferred to the next customer.

As long as it is wet with disinfectant than it will sterilise as well as spraying the conveyor and wiping with a dry cloth. The disinfectant denatures/deactivates the virus on contact and it doesn’t care if it is fresh disinfectant out of the spray bottle or residual disinfectant on the cloth.

If the wet cloth doesn’t leave the conveyor wet after wiping, then this won’t have much of an effect to any viruses left on the conveyor.

If the conveyor has wet disinfectant streaks, then the disinfectant can do its job.

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Here in NE Melbourne area every shop I have been in for many weeks has had hand sanitiser at the entrance but generally nobody manning it. Our Colesworths stores have both had staff at the entry manning the dispensers, but neither Colesworth nor any other shops attempt to stop or direct those who do not partake.

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Hi @TheBBG, it has been pretty well reported that supermarket employees have copped a lot of unwarranted flack from frustrated customers already. Asking them to try and stop people entering the store who refuse to use sanitiser, puts them back into the firing line for abuse and possibly even physical assault. They are just kids trying to earn some money, not policemen.

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Was I critical or making an observation? The latter was the intention and the topic was whether there were sanitisers deployed.

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Hi @TheBBG, I thought you were making an observation. That observation being that staff were not stopping people who did not use sanitiser that was provided. My response was simply to suggest a reason why these people were not being stopped.

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While it may be beneficial, I think the simple answer is one of cost for businesses. It is expensive for stores to have someone standing there dispensing hand sanitizer. Obviously for a big business like the Coles & Woolworths businesses one person standing there at the door is only a small portion of their labour cost. In a small business it may be add significantly to their labour costs.

It is a lot cheaper for all businesses to have dispensers there that customers can use themseleves.

We have to assume that they are using something with a sufficiently high alcohol content to kill the virus whether it is in a spray or a wipe form. If they are spraying, the sanitiser only hits the surfaces facing the spray. If they wipe and wrap their hands around handles, the sanitizer reaches the whole surface, so it is much more hygenic.

Hi Albie, My observations have been that people have shown gratitude to the staff who are supervising the hand sanitization and cleaning of the trolleys. Speaking with the same staff they say that most people have been saying thank you.
Just coincidentally it is near the entrance that security staff often place themselves when they are not doing routine patrols and they have also been receiving positive comments.
My surprise/concern is that the other supermarkets seem to have removed much if not all of their hand sanitizing options at the entrances (and possibly elsewhere)
I agree all sorts of essential workers have had a rough time recently and that is not acceptable. Thanks for your comments

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Hi meltam the small businesses on the whole are doing very well with hand sanitizer available and being used by their customers. It is the other large supermarkets apart from Woolworths in our town that seem to have removed or reduced the obviousness of any hand sanitizing opportunities.

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Hi @just-wondering, thanks for your comments. I’m in Melbourne and most of the essential businesses I visit do have sanitisers. At the local Woolies store they have moved from a staff member holding a sanitiser to an automated sanitiser that you simply place your hands under and the solution sprays out.

I also think the negative press about abusive customers has led to a grassroots movement for the silent 99.9% of customers to come out and support these workers. I certainly try to be as polite as I can be to the staff. I’m sure everyone in this forum are doing the same :heart_eyes:

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:slightly_smiling_face:

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It’s not alcohol base what they would be using as disinfectant, it would be most likely chlorine based. I work for a bus company and it’s a chlorine based disinfectant which is used as it’s better on surfaces. alcohol based is usually for skin usage.

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I was at my local Bunnings picking up a click and collect order and had to wait for at least 15 minutes as the computer was not working. There was hand sanitiser at the entrance and I used it when I went in. Lots of customers came in while I was waiting, more than 20, and only one of them used the hand sanitiser. Most of the customers were elderly in the ‘at risk’ category, the phrase “you can lead a horse to water” comes to mind!

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I noted with concern on Sunday that our local Coles appears to think it is all over. No queues outside, barriers removed and the self serve checkout, unlike Woolies, all machines working and no one sanitising them. I won’t be shopping there again any time soon

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It was a similar experience with the same company that prompted my questions about a week ago. Initially I was reassured by their response and their efforts to keep everyone safe but then it all stopped. I had for decades shopped almost exclusively at that store but in the past couple of weeks have discovered the joys of shopping at Woolworths and appreciated their efforts to ensure customer and staff safety.
Before asking questions on this page I did contact the company directly with their response being along the lines of we have passed your message to the appropriate department.

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Perhaps you can name the store so that Coles management can rectity the issue?

Our local Coles & Woollies spring into action after every self-service customer and wipe the screen, scales, and the EFTPOS keyboard, and both they and our local Supa IGA staff on the attended registers sanitize their hands before serving the next customer so as not to transfer contamination from one customer’s purchases to the next customer’s purchases, or infect themselves.

If any such retailers are still failing to do the right thing, they need to be named and shamed, and if they are a branch of a chain, the Head Office needs to kick butt,

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I live in Mullumbimby, Woolis there has noone at the entrance, the sanitizer is usually exhausted and there is no paper left to wipe down the trolley. The whole place is messy

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The store is in Moonee Ponds. Just to clarify the queues for the general checkouts were being supervised for social distancing but no where else

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The local Coles has become much more lax in the last week.

First we had:

  • a dedicated trolley bay with trolley handles all wiped between uses.
  • Alternate self-serve checkouts were closed, and a person wiped down everything between uses.
  • Plus sanitiser, paper towel, counting of customers, and staff monitoring distancing inside.
  • Also one way traffic through the entrance and exit.

Yesterday, the only remaining initiatives were:
–the changes to self-serve checkouts (which also seem to stay open later in the evening than before)
–sanitiser at the entrances (but no paper towel).

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