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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:30 PM

Wash your reusable grocery bag - E. coli related ER visits increased following ban on plastic bags

The Gross Ways That Plastic-Bag Bans Backfire
Reusable bags are home to all kinds of germs: Ramesh Ponnuru

(Newser) – Environmental concerns have spurred plastic bag bans or fees in US cities ranging from Los Angeles to Washington—but these measures come with "unintended consequences" that "can be, among other things, kind of gross," writes Ramesh Ponnuru at Bloomberg. It seems that reusable shopping bags can carry some rather unpleasant germs; one reportedly "caused an outbreak of norovirus-induced diarrhea and nausea that struck nine of 13 members of a girls’ soccer team," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Indeed, researchers found that 51% of reusable bags in a 2011 study were infested with coliform bacteria. And while washing bags gets rid of most of the germs, some 97% of people said they never do so. Another study showed that E. coli-related ER visits increased in San Francisco following the ban, while deaths from food-borne diseases jumped 46%. Given that washing the bags "doesn't appear likely to happen," Ponnuru notes, "the best course for government ... is probably to encourage people to recycle their plastic bags—or, maybe, just let people make their own decisions."

http://www.newser.com/story/162286/the-gross-ways-that-plastic-bag-bans-backfire.html

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Reply Wash your reusable grocery bag - E. coli related ER visits increased following ban on plastic bags (Original post)
Liberal_in_LA Feb 2013 OP
Purveyor Feb 2013 #1
NMDemDist2 Feb 2013 #2
Tikki Feb 2013 #3

Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:32 PM

1. There was an outbreak of the norovirus related to the reusable bags a year or so ago iirc. eom

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:35 PM

2. here's a link on how to do it

http://laundry.about.com/od/stainremoval/a/How-To-Keep-Reusable-Grocery-Bags-Clean-And-Safe.htm

think i'll go back to my bunch of canvas/cotton bags since they are easier to clean

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:38 PM

3. Thanks for the PSA..the plastic bag industry is pushing hard that people won't wash their reusable

bags...We will...throw them in the wash ...NO BIG DEAL...


Tikki

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