Clean those reusable shopping bags
June 15th, 2011
11:25 AM ET

Clean those reusable shopping bags

More and more of us are trying to live greener. We buy organic, we recycle. We even are being encouraged to use our own bags when we shop. It's all an effort to avoid waste and save the planet. But now, one of those planet saving efforts apparently comes with its own set of problems. Those reusable bags, if not handled correctly, might actually cause consumers harm.

On Tuesday the Canadian health department issued an environmental advisory to make sure consumers use the bags correctly. It recommends cleaning the bags and doing it often.  The Canadian health department found that bacteria and other things were living and growing in those consumer friendly bags – things we really don't want around our food, or our family.

A study done in 2009 by Dr. Richard Summerbell, research director at Toronto based Sporometrics, uncovered that many bags have bacteria, mold, yeast and even some more disgusting stuff in them.

And those unwelcome bag bugs can cause some very unpleasant things.
The first risk is food poisoning, but other issues include skin infections like boils, allergic reactions, asthma attacks and even ear infections.

But before you ditch the reusable and go back to land fill loving plastic bags there is one thing you need to know: The study was funded by the Environment and Plastics Industry Council or EPIC. So basically the plastic people paid for it. This shouldn't invalidate the guidelines, but also shouldn't overly scare you about using those reusable bags either.

Just like you wash sheets and towels, wash your re-usable bags. And wash them often, either in warm water or with a mild bleach and water mixture. Also make sure you wash the counter tops where you put those same bags because if it lives on the bags it can live on your counters.

When you shop, if possible, separate your goods by putting fruit in one bag for instance and meats in another. Things that leak, like packaged meats probably need another wrapping to be on the safe side. But keep in mind even those precautions might not do the trick as bacteria can be transferred by the store bagging clerk from one reusable bag to another.

soundoff (804 Responses)
  1. pressure washing services cocoa beach

    best i have ever seen!Hello, always i used to check webpage posts here early in the daylight, for the reason that i love to gain knowledge of more and more.


    June 10, 2021 at 04:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. pressure washing services cocoa beachd fl

    This is a very interesting article. Please, share more like this!


    June 10, 2021 at 05:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. pressure washing services Brevard County

    this is very informative and intersting for those who are interested in blogging field.


    June 10, 2021 at 05:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. pressure washing around Brevard County

    This is a very interesting article. Please, share more like this!


    June 10, 2021 at 05:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. pressure washing around Brevard County fl

    thanks for sharing!


    June 10, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. pressure washing near me

    Thank You for your information


    June 10, 2021 at 06:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. help payday loan debt

    this is very informative and intersting for those who are interested in blogging field.


    June 10, 2021 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. consolidate pay day loan

    thanks for sharing!


    June 10, 2021 at 07:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Julian Richison

    Hi there! This blog post could not be written any better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I most certainly will send this information to him. Pretty sure he'll have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    June 10, 2021 at 08:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Saran Negrette


    June 10, 2021 at 08:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. rv repair near me now


    June 10, 2021 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ophelia Cocopoti


    June 10, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Minna Kand

    Good info. Lucky me I recently found your website by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!


    June 10, 2021 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. rv repair near me now


    June 10, 2021 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Jamal Letsche


    June 10, 2021 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Eusebio Huezo

    Very good information. Lucky me I recently found your site by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!

    June 10, 2021 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Karima Serfass


    June 10, 2021 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. home

    Hi, I want to subscribe for this website to obtain latest updates, so
    where can i do it please assist.

    June 10, 2021 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Adalberto Mayberry

    You have made some decent points there. I looked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.


    June 10, 2021 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Federated Financial

    Thank you, I've just been looking for information approximately this topic for a long time and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you certain concerning the supply?


    June 11, 2021 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. raleigh car body shop

    Impressive! Thanks for the post


    June 11, 2021 at 01:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. rv repair shop

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Thank you for supplying this info.


    June 11, 2021 at 03:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Anabel Alberto

    bookmarked!!, I really like your web site!

    June 11, 2021 at 05:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Claretta Essman


    June 11, 2021 at 06:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Cherlyn Connealy


    June 11, 2021 at 06:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Lee Raspberry


    June 11, 2021 at 07:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. rv repair near me


    June 11, 2021 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. testing near me


    June 11, 2021 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. oc repair


    June 11, 2021 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Mattresses Los Angeles

    After looking into a few of the articles on your blog, I seriously appreciate your way of blogging. I book-marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site too and tell me what you think.


    June 11, 2021 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Sprinter Van Hard To Repair Van


    June 11, 2021 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Los Angeles Sprinter Repair

    I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I've got you book-marked to look at new stuff you postÖ


    June 11, 2021 at 19:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. rv step repair

    That is a really good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise informationÖ Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!


    June 11, 2021 at 21:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. raleigh car body shop

    such a great information for blogger i am a professional blogger thanks


    June 12, 2021 at 01:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. after school program near gambrills

    Thanks for wonderful information I used to be in search of this info for my mission.


    June 12, 2021 at 02:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. after school program in crofton md

    Thank You for your information


    June 12, 2021 at 02:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Frame Repair Shop Near Me


    June 12, 2021 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Beds Los Angeles


    June 12, 2021 at 04:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. school bus windshield replacement


    June 12, 2021 at 04:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Ram Van Frame Repair

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Thank you!


    June 12, 2021 at 04:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Campervan Roof Repair

    I absolutely love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím looking to create my own personal blog and would love to learn where you got this from or what the theme is named. Many thanks!


    June 12, 2021 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. after school program in crofton md

    such a great information for blogger i am a professional blogger thanks


    June 12, 2021 at 06:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Vernia Shupert

    Hi, I do believe your site might be having web browser compatibility issues. When I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, fantastic site!


    June 12, 2021 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Vern Rinehimer


    June 12, 2021 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Gilbert Ortner

    Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe this web site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the advice!


    June 12, 2021 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Shanell Copes

    You are so interesting! I do not suppose I've truly read a single thing like that before. So nice to find someone with some original thoughts on this subject. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is one thing that's needed on the internet, someone with some originality!


    June 12, 2021 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. gun dealers near me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this article plus the rest of the site is very good.


    June 12, 2021 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. mini golf near me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes that produce the most significant changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 12, 2021 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. kmart near me


    June 12, 2021 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. small engine repair near me

    Saved as a favorite, I like your site!


    June 12, 2021 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.