Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Archive for February 14th, 2013

Reusable Grocery Bags Could Lead To Your Death

Posted by terrepruitt on February 14, 2013

Other titles you might have seen: “Bag Ban Responsible For E-coli Outbreak”, “Are Reusable Shopping Bags Making Us Sick?”, “Reusable Shopping Bags Can Kill”.  Well, it is terrible that the ban on bags has caused and outbreak of E. coli.  It is so horrendous that the bags are making us sick.  It is out-and-out scary that these bags can kill us!  Just like the title of my post these titles are ridiculous.  The bag ban is not responsible for anything, just like the bags aren’t going to kill us.  What MIGHT happen is if the bags aren’t periodically wiped out and/or washed bacteria can spread and cause illness or even death.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaRecently I was in a grocery store and the bagger commented on my bag.  He said, “Oh your bag smells good.”  And I said, “Does it?”  He said, “Oh YES!  You should smell some of these bags.”  I hadn’t thought about that before.  I mean, I thought about having to wash your bags because food goes in them and some food spills and you don’t want your food bag contaminated.  Plus I use mine at the Farmer’s Market and I don’t always get a produce bag so dirt and bugs end up in there.  So I spray mine and wipe them down.  But I never thought of other people NOT doing it and baggers having to deal that.  Then recently on Facebook someone commented on a post about E. coli outbreak in San Francisco.  Again, I never thought of that because I just thought that people would wipe out their bags.  I figured people would want a clean place to put the food they just purchased.  Since I saw the comment about E. coli in San Francisco on Facebook I wanted to know if that was true.  So I went looking on the internet.  The titles, just like mine, and the things said in articles just crack me up.  Would it really be the fault of the bag?  Would the bag actually cause death?  No, if there was something in the bag dangerous enough to infect me then it would not be the bag’s fault, it would be mine for not washing it out.

I came across an article that states the information about San Francisco’s E. coli outbreak is inaccurate because the study conducted used information from BEFORE the bag ban actually went into effect.  This article mentioned that there was an accurate conclusion of a contaminated grocery bag having the norovirus and girls from a soccer team in Oregon all getting sick from it.  But the article I found regarding THAT incident stated the first person to get sick got very sick in a bathroom and the grocery bag was in close enough proximity to have the germs deposited on it.  While the first girl went home the bag with the snacks stayed behind and the girls that ate those snacks subsequently got ill.  That is the staying power of the norovirus!

The first article had me thinking it was a grocery type of contamination that happened in the bag.  I am glad I popped over to read the other article that clarified it.

Anyway . . . the point is the reusable grocery bags need to be washed.  If you have the plastic-y kind that wouldn’t really survive the washing machine, spray them with a disinfectant and wipe them out.  Or spray them and hose them out.  But there are some types of bags that can be washed in the washing machine and that might be the route to go.  You honestly might not have thought about it because using reusable bags is kind of a new thing, but now that you know the bag can kill you, I am sure you will think to wipe it out every once in a while.  🙂

Do you have a re-usable shopping bag you love?  Where did you get it?  Let us know!

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