Those new reusable bags need to be washed occasionally

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘telemetry9’

I cannot help but think that there’s some connection – after only one week of reusable grocery bag encouragement in scandal central, Washington D.C., we get a study suggesting that your grocery tote may pose a hazard to your health.

Via Lifehacker we have this piece out of Canada about a study finding “some level of bacteria” in 64% of the 24 bags checked at random. It’s not much of a sample set but it does raise the question – does anyone actually wash those bags?

At least one Canadian official does, or at least manages to sound so matter-of-fact about something I don’t think I have ever heard anyone say before.

But B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall said reusable bags do not pose a serious public health risk if consumers treat bags as they would cutting boards or food preparation surfaces, and wash them regularly and dry them well.

Have any of you, for one nanosecond, thought of your re-usable bags as “food preperation surfaces?” My darling wife and I made the switch to reusables about a year ago and it’s never crossed our mind to wash them.

Well I used to say something in my profile about not quite being a “tinker, tailor, soldier, or spy” but Tom stole that for our about us page, so I guess I’ll have to find another way to express that I am a man of many interests.

Hmm, guess I just did.

My tastes run the gamut from sophomoric to Shakespeare and in my “professional” life I’ve sold things, served beer, written software, and carried heavy objects… sometimes at the same place. It’s that range of loves and activities that makes it so easy for me to love DC – we’ve got it all.


4 thoughts on “Those new reusable bags need to be washed occasionally

  1. When I use a reusable bag for foodstuff, it’s either: Unwrapped produce I will probably wash anyway, something that’s already in a package, or something like wrapped raw meat that I have the bagger put inside a disposable bag before tossing it in with everything else (even if it would mean paying an extra nickel).

    The bags we take to our CSA farm do get at least wiped on a regular basis because sometimes the peaches get squished, and there’s always dirt on something.

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  3. I usually throw my usable bags directly into the Potomac after one use just to stick it to the man… So no need to wash them, I assume they get semi-clean in the river. Or maybe fish eat the bacteria? Hell, I’m not a scientist.

  4. File under “Not News.” I mean, if you think those plastic bags were sterile, you’re kidding yourself. You’re supposed to wash your vegetables anyway.