Food Safety: Grocery Store Bags

by in Food Safety, April 22, 2012
re-usable bag
Your grocery bag may be green, but is it clean?

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.

The Issue
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.

Don’t Forget About….
It’s not only re-usable grocery bags that need a thorough cleaning. Water bottles and lunch boxes need to be cleaned regularly too. Lunch boxes should be cleaned after each use. Leftover food should be discarded, then use hot, soapy water and let air dry. To get rid of stinky odors, use baking powder or a touch of vinegar. To clean your re-usable water bottles, read the manufacturer’s instructions – some can’t go in the dishwasher and must be cleaned by hand.

TELL US: Do you wash your re-usable grocery bags?

You Might Also Like:

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

More posts from .

Similar Posts

How to Create a BPA-Free Kitchen

Bisephenol-A (BPA) has gotten a lot of negative attention in the press. So much so, that a new legislation was recently introduced to ban food packagi...

Comments (280)

  1. Related……

    [...]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[...]……

  2. Cambogia says:

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  3. Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  4. Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

  5. Garcinia says:

    Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  6. Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  7. great video says:

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    [...]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]……

  8. check it out says:

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  9. youtube says:

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  10. Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>