Washing Reusable Shopping Bags Resolves Issues of Bacteria

University of Arizona Microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba has released the findings from a test he performed in early summer of 2010, regarding health issues of eco friendly reusable bags.   Dr. Gerba tested eighty seven reusable bags, obtained at random from grocery shoppers in California and Arizona, and each bag was swabbed for bacteria and laboratory tested.  The results found that large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all bags and that coliform bacteria were found in half of those tested. Eight percent of bags contained the e-coli bacteria.  Luckily, there are simple solutions to keeping your reusable shopping bags clean and e-coli free.

The first thing you can do is wash your custom reusable shopping bags on a regular basis.  Throwing your reusable shopping bags into the laundry, using hot soapy water,  will kill 99.9 percent of the germs.  Pick a day each week and collect all of your custom reusable bags from the house and the car to wash them all.  If you get on a washing schedule, you will have the confidence that they are clean.

Another way to help keep your custom reusable bags free of bacteria is to assign different bags for specific uses.  Have some bags specifically for transporting food items, other bags used for non-food items, and others yet used as your gym bag.  If you have a bag specifically used for meat items, one for dairy items, fruits and vegetables, ect., you can wash these bags more frequently as needed.

Labeling your bags for specific uses is another way to help keep your reusable shopping bags clean and organized.  Get creative and customize your bags with embroidery or fabric markers.  Have fun with customizing and have the confidence that although using reusable shopping bags may create a little more laundry, you are helping your environment tremendously.  For more information on Dr. Gerba’s findings, go to PRNewswire.

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