If you're like me, you probably don't wash your fruit every time you eat it. Like, that's an extra 10 seconds of my life. However, you might honestly want to start washing your hands after touching produce, a grocery cart, or even entering the store, because your groceries are most likely full of germs.

A study done by ReuseThisBag.com, where the company swabbed surfaces from four different types of food stores (budget, traditional, upscale and superstore), revealed some pretty gross truths. I apologize in advance for the emotional damage caused by any of the stats from this study, and, yes, I did want to vom while reading these. 

Grocery Store Cart

shopping, shopping cart, Market, Trader Joe's, supermarket, Grocery
Caroline Ingalls

According to the study (published on ReuseThisBag.com), there are 73,356 colony-forming units/sq. in. on a traditional grocery store cart. A colony-forming unit (CFU) is basically a unit used to estimate the number of bacteria or fungal cells in a tested sample.

So if 73K+ sounds like a lot, it is. It has 361x more bacteria than a bathroom doorknob, and I would never touch those without paper towel. 

Grocery Store Refrigerator Doors

beer, wine
Zoe Zaiss

A grocery store refrigerator door, which you are likely to open if you are ever buying ice cream (as I do near daily), has 326,695 CFU per square inch. That is a LOT of bacteria, about 18x more bacteria than in a pet toy. The fridge doors may not feel slobbery, but they are gross af. 

Grocery Store Produce

bilberry, pasture, strawberry, sweet, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, berry
Heather Feibleman

The fruit that you pick and often eat without washing has 1,940 CFU per square inch, which is 746x the amount of bacteria in a car steering wheel. You might want to wear your driving gloves before grabbing your fruit (actually, does anyone who is not in a British period piece wear driving gloves?). 

What Type of Germs Are We Talking About? 

strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, sweet, raspberry, berry
Ryan Terhune

Obviously not all bacteria is created equal, but the germs that you will be exposed to in the grocery store include gram-positive rods, gram-positive cocci, gram-negative rods, and yeast. The two suspects are those gram-positive ones (rods account for 46.8 percent of germs and cocci account for 34.1 percent of germs). 

Gram-positive rods are usually "harmless, but may lead to other illnesses;" there is not too much to be concerned about, but it is still important to be careful. Gram-positive cocci are a little bit more concerning, as they often lead to skin infections and such illnesses as pneumonia and toxic shock.

coffee, pizza, wine, beer
Katie Stotts

Intriguingly, upscale grocery stores were found to have 1,500x more germs on their produce than traditional grocery stores. This doesn't mean that the produce is bad, it just means that the lack of chemicals in upscale grocery products that make this food more expensive also force you to clean it a little bit more intensely. 

So, wash your hands, wash your produce, and then maybe wash your hands again. Literally, it's so easy to wash your hands and use some fruit spray on your produce. Just do it, people.