Testing commissioned by the Iowa Grocery Industry Association found mold and dangerous bacteria in bottle and can redemption areas within 11 Iowa grocery stores. Association executive director Jerry Fleagle says the testing was done on two separate days and he says it shows problems with food-borne bacteria.The release of the test results is part of the Grocery Industry’s campaign to junk the Bottle Bill and establish new venues for recycling bottles and cans, such as curbside recycling or regional redemption center. The tests found listeria on some surface areas within the stores, and lots of bacteria on the floors of storage areas. Fleagle, though, says the health risk isn’t so dangerous as to mean the stores should be closed. He says they need to look at the removing the cans to prevent the “cross-contamination” aspect of accepting the bottles and cans.State public health officials have said redemption areas within grocery stores pose no threat to the public. Fleagle says health officials do not check those areas when inspecting stores. Fleagle says they did the tests out of industry concerns. Fleagle and other top grocery store executives are meeting with the directors of the Iowa Departments of Public Health and Inspections and Appeals to talk about the test results. State officials are unavailable today, as state government’s closed due to the Martin Luther King, Junior holiday.
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