Reusable shopping bags are pretty popular, and you can pick them up in just about any store these days. But no matter where you buy these bags, how you use them could have a big impact on your health.
NEWS CENTER's Nicol Lally put some of her own bags to the test and what she found may have you changing some of your habits.
Albany Memorial Hospital Infection Preventionist Marty Luzinas warns that just because it's a reusable bag, that doesn't mean it's a self-cleaning bag. Nicol brought in three of the most popular types of bags -- an all cloth bag, a vinyl bag and a bag that is a combination of vinyl on the outside and cloth inside. Each bag was swabbed in the lab. Previous tests have shown salmonella, ecoli and even the norovirus on reusable bags. Many times these bacteria are found on raw poultry and meat that may not be properly wrapped in the grocery store. What sticks to your bags when you are in the checkout line at the store can quickly contaminate your car and home.
Nicol's bags tested positive for a number of bacteria including staff and strep.
So what can you do to keep you and your family healthy? Luzinas says you have to be conscious of what kind of bag you are using and how you are using it and how you are cleaning it. Also, stick to plastic for your meats and make sure your fruits and vegetables go in the plastic bag provided in the produce section before they go in your bag. Finally, don't store your reusable bags in the trunk of your car. The trunk can be one big incubator for bacteria.
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