Although reusable shopping bags are great for reducing trash, they can also be a danger to food safety. A reusable shopping bag can become a place for germs and other nasty bugs that could make us sick.
In Australia, there are around 4.1 million cases of gastro every year and 55,000 cases of Salmonella. Australia’s total food-borne disease and food poisoning cost $ 1.249 million each year. So what can we do to reduce our risk?
Reusable Bags and eco-friendly shopping bags offer your customers a stronger and more durable solution to the traditional plastic bag. They won’t tear if they catch on anything and are stronger than plastic bags so it’s less likely that your bag will burst. But somehow it could be dangerous for you. You only need to be careful with your reusable bags.
- You should wash your bag regularly
Be sure to follow the instructions for washing your bag if they have them. You can wash linen bags, as well as those made from natural fibers, in your machine with the usual detergent. You will need to wash reusable shopping bags made from plastic or synthetic materials with warm soapy. Be sure to clean the plastic bag’s creases as germs can be found there. You will need to dry your bag, no matter if it is synthetic or natural. Only dry them before you can use them again.
- You can only use your bag for food
You should use your bag only for groceries. You increase the risk of cross-contaminating food if your bag is used for such items.
- You shouldn’t use the same bag for both vegetables and meat.
You should always have a separate bag for raw, frozen, or cooked meats, poultry, or fish. Also, a separate bag for fruits or vegetables should be available. Cross-contamination is reduced when you have a bag of fruits and vegetables.
- Chiller bags are used for food that needs to be refrigerated
You will need to put foods that require refrigeration in a refrigerator within two hours. Chiller bags are also recommended to insulate foods to prevent them from heating up.
- Keep surfaces clean
Make sure to wipe down everything where your reusable bags are located, including the kitchen counters and dining tables. This will lower the chances of bacteria or harmful germs contaminating your food.
- Your bags should be kept dry and in a clean place
Although it is easy to put your reusable bag in your car or keep it in a backpack for convenience, these are not the best places to store it. These places are dark and provide a great breeding ground for bacteria. It’s better to keep them in an area with good airflow and clean, dry conditions. It is possible to hang them on the backside of a door.
- You shouldn’t leave them in your shopping basket’s baby seat.
Although it may be convenient to put your reusable bags in the child seat of your shopping cart while you are pushing them around the supermarket, it’s one of the most contaminated parts.