Those reusable grocery shopping bags have made the list of things to avoid at the grocery shore.
So called one-time grocery plastic bags are now banned in many locations in the country, and in its recent posting of four foods to avoid at the grocery store, the liberal HuffPost Life had added a caution to its list about the food safety danger of the reusable shopping bags that many are now forced to use because of government dictates.
The HuffPost reports that Kali Kniel, a University of Delaware microbiologist, added to their list by warning about those reusable grocery bags. “One important consideration today is the reusable grocery totes that many people use,” Kniel said. She called for people to clean and wash those reusable grocery bags between shopping trips or, more importantly, between use for other tasks.
Reusable grocery grocery bags can transport deadly pathogens.
Her warnings are among the first about how usable grocery bags and their forced use by various states might be a food safety danger.
“For example, don’t place soccer cleats in a bag one day and then fresh produce in it the next day without appropriate cleaning — or just don’t do that at all,” Kniel told HuffPost. “Cross-contamination is a real thing.”
Reusable grocery bags are often being used week after week, with many carrying raw chicken one week and fresh produce the next.
Others on HuffPost’s list of foods to avoid were more traditional and included unpasteurized (raw) milk, raw sprouts, pre-cut produce, and hot food bars.
Raw Milk — The heating process that kills pathogens, extends the shelf life and makes for safer consumption of milk. The HuffPost reports that in some states, like Alabama and Colorado, a raw milk ban extends to retail store sales and on and off-farm sales. Numerous other Western states permit retail and other sales.
Raw Sprouts — A big caution on the list is all those sprouts — radish, alfalfa, clover, and others. Washing all sprouts with plain old running water is the advice provided provided. “For sprouts to germinate, the seeds cannot be adequately disinfected to kill all the salmonella that could be there,” Kniel said.
Pre-cut Produce — It says the microbial risk for pre-cut products is the same as sprouts. Pre-cut produce grows through stringent regulation, but that does not carry over to its on-site production. Melons are known for their bacteria growth. They grow on the ground and can easily pick up contaminated irrigation water. The skin of a melon or cantaloupe is susceptible to bacteria growth.
Hot Food Bars— The HuffPost list says caution must be king at delis, supermarkets, and convenience stores. “All food should be maintained at a hot temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit or higher or below 41 degrees Fahrenheit if being left cold to fend off any potential bacterial growth,” it said. Kniel also looks to see if the sneeze guard is in place and clean with the serving tong
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