I’m proud to say that I bring my reusable shopping bags every time I go to the market (My favorite is my Earth Totes canvas bag www.earthtotes.org ). It makes me feel good to know that I’m doing my part to help clean up the environment by not using any plastic bags. But did you know that those same bags could make you very sick?
You see, the inside of the bags come into contact with all sorts of food items, many of which have dirty exteriors or packages that might drip. Food borne illnesses, like e. coli and salmonella could unknowingly contaminate other food in your bag. As these bacteria are invisible to the naked eye, you have no idea what foods could possibly be tainted. Then, when you’re hungry on the drive home, and you grab a healthy apple to munch on, you might actually be exposing yourself to a food-borne illness. Yikes!
The solution – wash those bags! Once a week, you should toss those canvas bags into the laundry with your towels and sheets and wash them on warm or hot water. If your bag isn’t canvas, then spray the inside lining with a mixture of white vinegar and water and a splash of rubbing alcohol (my favorite all-purpose household cleaner) and then wipe it down with a paper towel.
Better safe (and clean) than sorry.