Your Planet-Saving Grocery Bag Could Kill You

There's a 12% chance it's covered in E coli. Wash it.
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2010 10:26 AM CDT
Updated Jul 4, 2010 12:23 PM CDT
Bag o' produce...and E Coli?   (?izik)
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(Newser) – That planet-saving reusable grocery bag has the potential to kill something else: you. Some 12% of the 84 bags tested in a recent study contained traces of E. coli; scarier still, bacteria was found on all but one. The researchers, who reviewed bags used by grocery shoppers in Arizona and California stores, said the bacteria levels were high enough to cause illness and even death.

The stat isn't that surprising in light of their other finding: A whopping 97% of shoppers reported not regularly, or even ever, washing their bags, and 75% combined meat and produce in the same bag, reports the LA Times. The good news: Washing them reduces the bacteria by more than 99.9%.

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