Unwashed reusable grocery bags can carry a host of dangerous bacteria that could contaminate ready-to-eat items such as bread and produce.
Many of us have gotten in the habit of bringing our reusable grocery bags with us on our daily or weekly rounds at the local supermarket. This is commendable, really, as a 2007 figure suggested Canadians take home an estimated 2.86 billion plastic bags annually. However, did you know that in a recent survey by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ConAgra Foods it was found that only 15 percent of Americans frequently wash their bags?
These unwashed bags can carry a host of dangerous bacteria—from raw meat and other unclean products—that could contaminate ready-to-eat items such as bread and produce, putting us at risk of food poisoning.
Thankfully, reducing our risk of cross contamination is as easy as washing our bags regularly, either in the washing machine (for cotton or bamboo bags) or in the sink with hot, soapy water. Further, keep these tips in mind to reduce the spread of harmful bacteria with your grocery bags.
Other tips for reducing our risk to food poisoning due to cross-contamination include: