Reusable Grocery Bags

Issues

Reusable Grocery Bags

The Breakdown

Reusable grocery bags are bags made of plastics, canvas, or woven synthetic fibers.

• Beginning in the 1990’s, supermarkets began offering reusable grocery bags in an effort to reduce the environmental costs of plastic and paper grocery bags.

• Because reusable grocery bags tend to go unwashed after carrying raw meat products, they have been linked with an increase in E. coli infections.

• Washing reusable bags either by hand or in a washing machine after use can eliminate present pathogens by 99.9%.

Our Position

• Stop Foodborne Illness believes that reusable grocery bags are not a problem in themselves; it is the lack of consumer education on how to properly use them that causes foodborne illness.

• Stop Foodborne Illness encourages educating consumers on the risks of spreading pathogens through reusable bags and producing reusable bags with a clearly visible message and instructions to wash reusable bags after each use. This simple act could greatly reduce the illnesses spread through bags while maintaining the environmental agenda.

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