Cloth grocery totes are convenient and environmentally friendly but could they also be making you sick? Bacteria can build up quickly when certain foods spill and aren't cleaned – increasing the risk of food poisoning.
For peace of mind, remember the following tips to help keep your reusable bags good for your health as well as the environment.
- At check-out, put meat, poultry and fish in a plastic bag before placing in a separate tote away from ready-to-eat foods. This will help prevent juices from leaking and contaminating your reusable bags and food.
- Clean all areas where you place your totes, such as kitchen counter or table, to reduce cross-contamination.
- Wash your reusable bag frequently in the washing machine or by hand with hot, soapy water.
- Store totes in a clean, dry location. Avoid leaving totes in the trunk of a vehicle.
Download the Grocery Tote Safety Tip Sheet to have your cloth grocery totes clean and ready to go the next time you head to the store.
Please note: Given current health concerns with the coronavirus, some stores may not be allowing customers to bring in reusable totes. Check with your store before shopping with a reusable bag.