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Question

I know that the reusable grocery bags are becoming very popular, but I was wondering if they are food-safe?

Answer

Susan Krumm, extension agent for K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, suggests these food-safety tips for reusable bags:
When shopping for reusable shopping bags, look for ones that are washable, and remember to launder the bags often.
Juice from meats can leak from packaging and contaminate ready-to-eat foods such as fruits and vegetables in the bag. Use a separate reusable bag for raw meat and place the meat in a separate plastic bag before packing in the reusable bag. Look for thermal-lined bags to transport cold and frozen foods. Unpack and put these foods away first when arriving home.
Also, the outside of the bag may be contaminated from the grocery cart, the store counter or from the floor of your vehicle. If you set the bags on the counter when you get home, the germs on the bag will transfer to your countertops. Remember to wash and sanitize your countertops before preparing food.

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