Wash your Reusable Bags
These days reusable bags are a pretty ordinary thing. You will especially see them being used in your local health food store or market. I think it’s great that this new eco fad has become so popular, but it could be possibly harmful. Once you have used your bags a number of times, you can expect there would be some stains possibly from produce, meat, and fish. Or maybe you use your reusable grocery bags for other purposes such as a diaper bag or gym bag. I’m not sure who would do that but apparently some people do. According to a microbiological study done this year  it has shown that unclean reusable bags can pose a public health risk due to high levels of mold, bacteria and yeast present in the samples. Some of the findings include:
- Sixty four percent of the tested reusable bags were contaminated with some level of bacteria and nearly 30 percent had bacterial counts higher than what is considered safe for drinking water.
- Forty percent of the bags contained the presence of yeast or mold.
- Some of the sampled bags contained unsafe levels of coliforms and fecal intestinal bacteria -EEK Gross-
This really shouldn’t be a cause for concern if you just do something very simple…TOSS IT IN THE WASHER! Susie Craig, a food safety expert was quoted “Anytime you’re toting around fresh produce, meat, poultry and fish, there’s going to be bacteria,” “You should treat reusable bags as you would your cutting boards: clean and sanitize between uses.” Sounds pretty simple and easy right? Well a friend of mine works at a grocery store and she says she is shocked at the dingy stained dirty bags some people bring in! Just practice normal hygiene and i don’t think it should be a problem. Continue to use reusable bags, just stick them in the washer regularly.
After learning about this and subsequently writing about it, I’ve realized that I am guilty of never having washed my reusable bags since I’ve bought them. Off to the wash they go =) … That’s all =)
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