grocery store aisle with stocked shelves and clean floor

The best supermarkets in the United States share at least one quality, according to an article on the Consumer Reports website. It's cleanliness.

Cleanliness is a common element among all of the top-rated groceries in Consumer Reports' recent nationwide member survey of grocery stores, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs. The six grocers that landed in Consumer Reports’ top rating tier for overall were rated highly for cleanliness.

These 17 markets excelled in the cleanliness arena. In order of overall ratings, they are:

• New Seasons Market
• Publix
• Military Commissary
• The Fresh Market
• Festival Foods (Wisconsin)
• Dierbergs
• Lunds & Bylerlys
• Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
• Natural Grocers;
• Reasor's;
• Raley's
• Lowes Foods (North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia)
• Hy-Vee;
• Haggen Northwest Fresh
• Lidl
• Roche Bros.
• Brookshire's

Stores placing among the lowest overall in our ratings—including Walmart Supercenters, Tops and Key Food—had low marks for cleanliness.

What does it take to boost a grocery store's cleanliness score? Experts say the key factors include:

Spotless entries. Stores that value cleanliness put effort into keeping the sidewalks outside their venues free of litter.

Hand sanitizers. In the vestibule, in the poultry section, and in other germ-prone areas.

Gleaming floors. Polished concrete in its natural, light gray color is becoming popular.

Restrooms. Newer designs with bright lighting, multiple stalls, air fresheners.

Quick spill cleanup. Messes never linger and are addressed immediately.

Click here to read the full article.