VICTORIA -- When the front doors of the Quality Foods location in View Royal slide open, customers are greeted with something new and illuminating, literally.

The Vancouver Island grocery store chain says it is the first in Canada to install an ultraviolet light grocery cart cleaning machine.

"It's gone through a couple prototypes," said Quality Foods president, Noel Hayward.

"Its been laboratory tested and it does kill COVID. This is the cleanest you can get your shopping cart," he said.

The machine, which was designed by construction company P.C.L., uses "far ultraviolet light" technology to kill germs on the surface of the grocery store buggies.

According to Quality Foods, the light is not harmful to human cells, but does kill off germs, including the coronavirus.

"Sometimes with disruption comes innovation. This is one of those times in the grocery industry," said Hayward.

The process is simple as customers simply grab a cart and slide it into the machine.

A small light turns red when the cart has been detected and several bright blue bulbs inside illuminate and destroy germs.

The entire process, which also includes customers using sanitizer to clean their hands while their cart is inside the UV sterilizer, takes only about 20 seconds.

Quality Foods has been working with designers for six months to fast track the technology for a consumer platform.

"You've been relying on the grocery stores to hopefully sanitize your cart before you use them, but this just ensures that to the customer," said View Royal Quality Foods manager, Roger Prive.

The Vancouver Island grocery chain says if customers offer positive feed back, Quality Foods would like to roll the sterilizers out in all its B.C. stores.