Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reusable Bags...a storage place for bacteria!?!?!

A study recently published in Food Protection Trends by Dr. Charles Gerba, found that reusable shopping bags contain bacteria and 8 percent contained E. coli.  The bacteria grow when meat juices were placed in the bags, then kept in the trunks of cars—causing bacteria growth to increase tenfold. Plus, think about how many different things you store in the reusable bags…from those meats to unwashed fruits to sometimes even gym clothes!
But there’s good news: if you wash your reusable bags, you can help reduce bacteria by almost 99.9%. Easy as that! So for a couple tips:
-          Wash your bags regularly and dry them on high heat or in the sun, if possible, to kill germs.
-          Use bags for food only…or at least designate which is for food and which is for gym clothes!
When heard this news I was (a) surprised and (b) not really surprised. Kind of a mix of feelings, I know, but that’s truly how I reacted! I mean, I was surprised because I never even thought to think about how easily bacteria could accumulate in the reusable bags that I use for more than just groceries. And I was “not really surprised” because it makes total sense! I use my reusable bags like they are meant to be used- I reuse them and reuse them for groceries, carrying clothes, sometimes holding gym clothes, helping me move items from point A to point B, and so on.  They are great and multi-functional.  But now, I’m rethinking my reusable bag use and about to head home today and wash them all inside and out.  Pretty sure I don’t want E. coli or other bacteria in proximity any longer.

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