My husband brought an article in The Independent to my attention the other day. It was “Supermarket bags for life could spread harmful bacteria, Food Standards Agency warns“
I’ll be honest, it has really hit a nerve with me, and has been on my mind ever since.
The article talks about the concerns over the spread of bacteria (particularly from raw meat) in reusable grocery bags.
This issue has never occurred to me before. I use my jute bags ALL THE TIME, for everything.
I am aware of the hazards of raw meat/ E.coli / food poisoning, but as I have never had actual meat juices leak in the bag (that I knew of), I never thought I needed to disinfect my bags. But it turns out you do.
The article states: “Even wrapped raw foods such as pre-packed fresh meat and fish may have traces of harmful bugs on the OUTSIDE of the packaging.”
Luckily, my family has not suffered from a stomach bug due to this type of contamination. Going forward, I just couldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t share my findings — and try to do something to protect my family and my customers in the future.
Since reading the article I have done a lot of research. I have read lots of articles on what types of bacteria can be spread and how to kill this harmful bacteria.
Here are my findings and my solution…
First off here is good news:
The bacteria lurking inside an unwashed tote isn’t much worse than on an unwashed kitchen surface or on a damp, infrequently changed dish towel. So if you (like me) have not been consistently antibac’ing your tote, there is no need to chuck it in the bin.
What you need to do NOW, and from now on, to protect you and your reusable bags against harmful bacteria is two things:
1. Thoroughly wash all fresh produce under running water, which is more abrasive than simply soaking fruits or vegetables in a bowl of water. This is usually enough. However, you can further reduce the surface bacteria by drying your fruit & veg with a clean kitchen towel- the rubbing/ friction is the thing that kills the excess bacteria.
2. Thoroughly clean the inside plastic lining of your large jute bags after you have carried foods such as meat and fish
#2 is where I want to step in.
I have sourced some amazing eco-friendly cleaning wipes that are biodegradable and plant-based. They are called Ecover Multi-Action Wipes.
After unloading your shopping bag full of meat & fish, thoroughly wipe the inner plastic lining of your Destination Jute large jute bag with your eco-friendly wipes, taking care to clean into all seems and corners and let dry.
To try and get the cleaning started…
The next ten customers who purchase a large jute shopping bag from my website and use the code CLEANYOURBAGS will receive a FREE pack, including shipping, of Ecover Mulit-Action Wipes.
→ FREE pack of Ecover Wipes when you use the code CLEANYOURBAGS *
Plus, I will be selling the wipes as an add-on item on my website from now on, to ensure all of my customers are aware of the need to clean their bags and protect against bacteria.
As a bonus for all my past customers (if you already have a bag that needs some cleaning) I would like to offer you…
→ FREE SHIPPING on a single pack of Ecover Wipes with code CLEANSHIP **
Hope this helps everyone stay bacteria free!
Any questions or concerns please get in touch.
* Add both the large jute bag + the wipes to your basket and enter code: CLEAN YOUR BAGS
** Offer ends 15/10/2017