We love reusable bags, but studies show that over 90 percent of people don’t wash them regularly. That means you could be putting apples in the same bag that a raw chicken breast was oozing in just yesterday, which could put your food in contact with harmful bacteria like E. coli. Protect your family by regularly cleaning your bags!
Keep raw meat separate. If you do one thing, do this! Designate one bag for raw meats like chicken, beef or fish and another for fruits and veggies. Optional: Make it easy for your grocer by placing a “veggies” or “meats” tag on the handle of each bag.
Avoid the trunk in warm weather. Your car’s trunk space can get pretty hot, and warmer temperatures promote bacteria growth! Try to keep your groceries in the coolest part of your car (like seat wells or near air vents) and out of the sun.
Designate specific bags for groceries. The next time you’re running out of the house and you have your hands full, don’t reach for the bag that you just used for last night’s groceries. By making sure some bags are only used for food items, you’ll reduce the risk of bacteria making its way onto your food (or food onto your gym clothes).
Wash your bags. This simple task will reduce harmful bacteria found in your reusable bags to almost nothing. If your reusable bag is made of canvas or other natural fibers, it can be machine-washed on a regular cycle and dried in your dryer. For nonwoven polypropylene, nylon and recycled PET bags, machine wash on the gentle cycle (or hand wash) and lay flat to dry. Note: Never put bags made from synthetic fibers (like polypropylene) in the dryer! If you don’t have time to wash your bags between grocery runs, use this homemade disinfectant spray, instead.