Many folks love their eco-friendly re-usable grocery bags. But when’s the last time you washed them? A new survey found that only 15% of Americans regularly clean their totes, putting them at a higher risk for food poisoning.
A recent survey conducted by the Home Food Safety Program found 85% of Americans aren’t washing their re-usable grocery bags. Raw foods like meat, poultry and fish carry harmful bacteria which can linger in your totes waiting to board ready-to-eat foods like produce. The risk is even higher with the spring weather setting in as bacteria love to flourish at warm temperatures. Luckily, it’s easy to keep you and your family safe from food bugs.
What You Can Do
Wash those bags frequently in the washing machine (if they’re cloth) or by hand with soap and hot water. Be sure they’re dry before you tuck them away.
Bags with a plastic coating can also be wiped down with antibacterial spray or wipes.
To prevent cross-contamination from juices, place meat, poultry and fish in a separate plastic bag before placing in your re-usable bag.
Wash your hands after unpacking grocery bags.
Clean any areas that come in contact with your re-usable bag like the kitchen counter or table. This will help reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Don’t leave bags in the trunk of your car. Instead, store them in a clean, dry place.
Toss bags that are torn or ripped, especially the insulated ones.