by A. Grano on August 17th, 2010 at 7:00 am
Perhaps you remember the disturbing discovery that surfaced in the news several years ago regarding the high levels of bacteria that exist on the average handbag– after hearing about the thousands of potential organisms that may be lurking, from fecal bacteria to cold viruses, I began thinking twice before I plopped my purse down!
However, the latest news about reusable grocery bags used by all those who are environmentally conscious has brought the hidden germs phenomenon full circle and heighted my own awareness again, as well.
Bags Full of Bacteria
Researchers from the University of Arizona uncovered similar high levels of bacteria on the bags, which are typically toted from the store straight to your kitchen counter, therefore exposing all sorts of contaminants directly to your food source, which can lead to intestinal problems, infection, diarrhea, and other health concerns. Cross-contamination from meats, dairy, and produce within the bags are likely to blame in this case (in addition to the organisms picked up on the exterior of the bag, like what happens with purses).
How to Stay Healthy
However, there’s no need to ditch those “green” efforts – just be sure to avoid placing your bags directly onto your counter at home before cleaning, and washing your bags after each use. If you do plop those heavy bags onto the counter at home, be sure to unload your goods at a separate station, and wipe down the contaminated counter before reuse.
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