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Festival Foods

Reusable Bags: Health Risk?

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I read an interesting LA Times article recently that was re-printed in the La Crosse Tribune. I never gave much thought to the topic and bet you haven’t either.

A group of researchers asked shoppers if they ever washed their reusable grocery bags. Everyone (including my wife whom I also asked) had the same response: “no”!

Researchers micro tested 84 reusable shopping bags and found large numbers of bacteria in all but one. This included coliform bacteria which suggests contamination by raw chicken or other raw meats. The concern is that if other foods, especially those eaten raw or not reheated, have contact with the coliforms they could contaminate the food and cause health problems.

The good news is that the researchers also have a solution. They machine washed some bags and found that the bacterial levels dropped to almost nothing!

So, remember, as the article says: “Reusable doesn’t mean self-cleaning”!

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