What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reusable and Cloth Shopping Bag Danger

Many eco-friendly shoppers have turned to using reusable and cloth shopping bags.  Apparently it has come to light that these bags can present a cross contamination and bacterial build-up danger.  The reason is the bags can get moisture via damp produce and condensation from refrigerator products.   Factor in the fact many keep the bags in their vehicle so they may also be exposed to high humidity conditions when the vehicle is not in use depending on your location.  All grocery products whether wrapped or not have been exposed to several levels of human contact.  In addition to that canned and boxed foods may have been exposed to rodents during their time in warehouse storage.  The problem with all of this it the bacterial level on various food items can cause bacterial buildup in the bags.  As each bag is reused there is the potential to contaminate other foods carried home in the bags.  To prevent these potential problems:

  • Use those very thin produce bags for your produce in the produce section.  They can be washed and reused several times unless they develop a hole.  They can also be put into the recycle bin at home or at your grocery store if they offer bag recycling.  Alternately use a dedicated cloth bag or two for unbagged produce only and wash after each use.
  • Wash cloth bags after using them for groceries.  They can go through the washer in the cold setting and hung to dry.
  • Spray the insides of polyethene bags with rubbing alcohol after each use.  The rubbing alcohol will kill off any germs left behind and evapourate quickly so as to not leave the bag wet.
  • Leave your clean shopping bags near the main exit door or by your keys rather than in your vehicle.

Garden Gnome