Image from the Greenpages by Rex Turgano Flickr.com

I am amazed at how quickly the move towards reusable shopping bags took off.   Most people seem to understand the importance of reducing trash and bring their own bags when shopping.  We’re keeping lots of plastic bags out of the landfill, but the bags could carry dangerous levels of bacteria, which can be harmful to human health.  According to one study, cross-contamination is the culprit.  Juices from uncooked meat, poultry or eggs can leak onto a fabric bag, which can contaminate food put in the bag on the next trip.   I read some great tips recently from the Greenopolis web page about preventing this and want to pass these along to you.

Most importantly, wash your bags regularly, especially if something leaks, just as you do your clothes. Washing eliminates almost all contamination.  I suppose that is common sense for most people, but it never hurts to be reminded.  Another tip is to designate one bag for produce, one bag for meats, one for packaged goods, one for laundry supplies, one for clothes, etc.  You also don’t want to store your bags in the trunk of your car.   In addition to storing the bags alongside the dirty sporting equipment or whatever is in your trunk, the higher temperatures in the trunk can speed up the reproduction of bad bacteria.  I keep my bags by the back door to remind me to bring them shopping.

Click on this link for tips on how to properly care for your reusable shopping bag. http://www.scribd.com/doc/66611207/Practice-Safe-Sacks

Follow these simple tips and you can safely keep doing the right thing for the earth.









One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Louise on August 20, 2010 at 12:52 am

    I am washing them all as I am typing this! Makes perfect sense but I never thought of it – thanks for the heads up, Betsy!!


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