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Should You Wash Reusable Grocery Bags?

Here's a Reminder to Wash Those Reusable Grocery Bags

Reusable bags are great for the environment, but a new study has found that your stack of reusable grocery bags may be harboring high levels of bacteria if you're not careful.

If you regularly haul raw meat, dirty vegetables, and cartons of milk from the supermarket, your reusable bags may be due for a cleaning. The study, published in Food Protection Trends, found that practically all bags tested contained large numbers of bacteria, including coliform bacteria in half of the bags tested and E. coli in eight percent. Much of these bacteria form when meat and dairy seep through their containers and contaminate bags, multiplying in warm environments.

Of course, not all bacteria are bad, but ingesting certain types (like E. coli) can lead to illness or even death. So make sure you keep your reusable bags clean. Wash your bags with soap and water, regularly toss machine-washable bags in your laundry, and use separate bags to carry raw meats.

Do you wash your reusable bags?

Image Source: Thinkstock
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Join The Conversation
SaraNoH SaraNoH 4 years
meh, I like to keep my immune system guessing. Besides, I put my produce in those thin plastic bags dispersed around the store before putting them in my bags. Those little bags are great for storing bulk buys too, especially ground meat.
Jenny-Sugar Jenny-Sugar 4 years
I never would have thought of this either! But such a great idea. Throwing them in a load right now....
karinacocina karinacocina 4 years
im guilty....never wash mine....
amber512 amber512 4 years
I'm constantly washing mine because it skeeves me out!
Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine 4 years
Funny, I never would have thought to do this. Thanks for the tip!
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