Could that Reusable Shopping Bag Make You Sick?

There seems to bit of a panic over the dangers of the bacteria that could be lurking in your reusable shopping bags. However, a University of Arizona study says that most of the bacteria that is found in bags is typically quite harmless. In fact, San Francisco banned plastic shopping bags more than three years ago and hasn’t seen a rise in E.coli infections!

Still concerned. Follow these tips:

  • Choose washable sturdy canvas shopping bags
  • Make a habit of putting your shopping bags into the wash with your kitchen towels. Washing reduces the bacteria by 99.9%
  • Non-washable bags should be wiped with an anti-bacterial solution frequently
  • When you are shopping, use the plastic produce bags for your fresh foods—especially for packages of meat
  • Treat your bags much like cutting boards and assign different bags for non-food items, produce, meats etc.

Don’t relax yet! Reusable grocery bags are the least of our worries! Here are some surprising places that bacteria lurk from a list of the top 30 from the CDC.

  • Sponge or counter-wiping cloth: 134,630 bacteria/square inch
  • Pet food dish, inside rim: 2,110 bacteria/square inch
  • Garbage bin: 411 bacteria/square inch
  • Dish towel: 408 bacteria/square inch
  • Toy: 345 bacteria/square inch
  • Kitchen tabletop: 344 bacteria/square inch
  • Home office phone or refrigerator door: 319 bacteria/square inch
  • Bathroom light switch: 217 bacteria/square inch
  • Microwave buttons: 214 bacteria/square inch
  • Kitchen chopping board: 194 bacteria/square inch
  • TV remote control: 70 bacteria/square inch
  • Home office computer keyboard: 64 bacteria/square inch
  • Home office computer mouse: 50 bacteria/square inch

Throw that sponge and dishtowel into your washer on a regular basis and use a good cleaning solution on some these easily forgotten locations!

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