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XGerminator Toronto
Photograph: Instagram / @thexgerminator

This Canadian grocery store is experimenting with UV light to disinfect groceries at checkout

It's called the Xgerminator, and trial runs are being carried out at the checkout of Summerhill Market in Toronto

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented technology in Toronto, Ontario, and that's brought about developments like these app-supported mobile grocery stores in Toronto, Ontario and now UV light sanitizers for groceries at checkout.

It's called the Xgerminator, a machine deployed at one checkout of the Summerhill Market in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood using UV rays to sanitize groceries prior to being packed up. The device is intended to remove the need for customers to wash items like produce and containers with soap and water in their homes to avoid the possibility of contamination.

According the company's website, groceries are "scanned by a cashier and then placed on an enclosed conveyor belt. From there, your items will pass through a UV-C tunnel to be processed by (a) built-in, germicidal light." The method is designed to deliver "99.9% sanitization in less than 30 seconds," inactivating viruses, bacteria and microorganisms to lower the risk of spreading infections.

XGerminator Toronto
Photograph: XGerminator /

The machine is a collaboration of the two women—real estate agent Alyssa Mincer and Dara Gallinger, co-founder and former CEO of the Toronto mill and bakery Brodflour and former Director of Marketing & Merchandising of the Canadian food retailer Sobeys—and Prescientx, an Ontario-based company with a focus on manufacturing disinfection machines used in hospitals and laboratories.

The design of Xgerminator, for example, bears similarities to the company's Terminator COV, the "world’s first purpose-built high volume conveyor style N95 mask UV disinfector... (processing) up to 500 masks per hour," the company's website reads.

The XGerminator has been running on a trial basis, beginning on May 20 and ending on June 1, but Summerhill Market was able to obtain all the research it needed from one day of use, according to the grocery store's president Brad McMullen in an interview with the Toronto Sun. “The experiment was successful in many ways in that there is a great deal of interest from our customers in having their groceries sanitized,” McMullen told the newspaper.

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