A self-cleaning supermarket checkout that can kill deadly superbugs is set to hit stores, with a little help from The Grocer.

Quantum UV Technologies developed an innovative ink, called Hygenilac, and a cleaning system, called Envirobelt, last year that could be installed on checkout belts to ward off superbugs while simultaneously enabling advertising messages to be displayed. Envirobelt leaves a microfilm of food grade antibacterial agent on the belt as it rotates, killing 99.9% of all known superbugs, while Hygienilac is a special ink that is impregnated into the checkout belt.

The Grocer revealed the technology last November. After reading our story, it was taken on by shop fitting equipment giant Harte for the majority of its new checkouts.

The Co-operative Group and independent chain the Proudfoot Group have placed orders with Harte and there was lots of advertising interest, said Quantum UV Technologies director Eddie Tucker.

“We’re still perfecting but we can now print a photo-quality image that will kill all the bacteria, with lab certificates to prove it.”

“In the past, lots of advertising companies have tried advertising on these belts but they used a sticky vinyl, or poor printing that would flake off or split,” he added. “Our ink actually becomes part of the belt.”

Brian Thomson, Harte’s sales and marketing manager added: “Harte has been looking for a solution to checkout belt printing for many, many years and until we met Eddie, we were really disappointed in the poor performance we were getting from belts. Eddie’s product has revolutionised our industry.”

Hygienilac could also be used on tiles, glass, metal, wood, work counters, in-store signage and plastics such as polystyrene and polyethylene that hold fresh meat and produce.