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Do you wash your reusable bags?

I tend to be kind of a germ-phobe. Working in a hospital is, in some ways, perfect for me, since there’s always hand sanitizer or a sink just a few steps away. In fact, it’s policy to sanitize our hands before and after entering a patient’s room, so it’s kind of a relief not to stand out as the hypochondriac I am. Yes, I think there’s something to arguments that our anti-bacterial efforts are going to  f*** us over in the long run, but I can’t help it. I see a Purel dispenser, and my eyes light up.

In my personal life, I’m also known to be kind of fussy about not putting my handbag on my bed or shopping bags on the kitchen counter, and I had to give up on keeping a sponge by the sink because it just led to spiraling thoughts about spreading germs. This decision came after a guy tried to be nice by doing the dishes, opting for the pink sponge on the ledge instead of the dishwasher. Was I wrong to find that weird? When he left, I took the glasses and plates out of the cabinet and threw them right into the dishwasher. Yeah…Let’s not talk any more about my dating habits.

One thing I often overlook, though, is the inside of those grocery bags themselves. Like many folks, out of the interest of generating less waste/reducing the plastic bag pile in the closet, I often carry my own cloth shopping bag when I go food shopping. However, if I buy meat or fish, I prefer to just get a plastic bag for it because I’m squeamish about raw, drippy stuff.

Naturally, this article from the Boston Globe  and this article about a norovirus outbreak being linked to a reusable grocery bag got me all skeeved out by discussing the potential for cross-contamination and food-borne illness. I guess already throw my lunch bag into the wash, so what’s another piece of laundry? But wow. Ew.

Do you wash your reusable grocery bags? Do you think you’ll start? 

About jesscording

Registered Dietitian. Writer. Veggie Lover. Red Wine Enthusiast.

2 comments

  1. Not to completely send you into a germ fit but you are only looking at a small problem. You need to worry about the checkout person’s hands. They touch your chicken, meat and milk cartons (which usually has milk all over it) plus everyone’s before you then touches ALL of your groceries!!

    You should give the checkout person a squirt of Purel before they touch your stuff. :-)

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