A new study says that you should be washing your reusable shopping bags because they might be full of gross bacteria such as e. coli, particularly if you used them to tote raw meat.
The University of Arizona study tested 84 bags collected from shoppers in Tucson, LA and SF. Over half were contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria. 12% apparently contained e. coli.
The National Resources Defense Council calls the study “industry-funded junk science designed to scare consumers,” but the scientist, who got $30,000 from the American Chemistry Council for the study, says people just need to wash their bags and realize they can cross contaminate food.
The American Chemistry Council, according to their website, “represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry, including significant business groups such as the Plastics Division, the Chlorine Chemistry Division, and the Chemical Products and Technology Division.”
Anyway, we suppose the takeaway is that in order to save the planet you may need to occasionally wash your meat bags! That sounded so gross, we’re sorry.
Reusable bags may present health risk [Arizona Republic]