December 21st, 2013
I’ve heard a new one about reusable bags.
Placing my items and bags on the conveyor belt at one popular chain store I won’t name, I was greeted with “I’m not allowed to touch those. You’ll have to bag them yourself.”
Well, I’ve used my own bags at this store many times, so I was confused. The way that the check-out area was configured, it would have been awkward for me to bag my own groceries. So, I ask, “Is this a new policy?’
“No. I had a reaction and now I’m not allowed to touch the bags,” she said.
Image from when I forgot the garlic in my reusable shopping bag! Found it not so intact in the dryer.
The cashier couldn’t say exactly what it was about the bags she had handled that made her sick, but there was fear in her eyes. If she had some sort of specific allergy, she wasn’t aware, but there was just something about the bags that had made her sick, she said.
I believe that. It could be that the cashier has some specific food allergy that she’ll soon discover isn’t related to reusable bags. However, I think it’s totally plausible that someone’s bags may have made her have a reaction.
Always Wash Your Bags
Reusable bags, like anything else you use again and again, should be washed to remove contaminants and allergens. Never buy bags for grocery shopping that are surface wash only. That’s not healthy. Think about it for a minute: You bags carry ready-to-eat foods like produce that can easily become contaminated by dirty grocery bags.
For your health, and your cashier’s, wash your reusable bags often. Visit the American Cleaning Institute for tips on how to safely store and clean reusable shopping bags.
How often do you wash your shopping bags?
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