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Clean on clean
consumption and leisure | eroski consumer
Clean on clean
Reusable bags for transporting food should be washed regularly to avoid build pathogens
8/26/13 – 1:01 –
ROSA CUEVAS |
The Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs in Spain launched a Corporate Campaign (2010-2011) to reduce the number of plastic bags for single use in order to reduce their waste by consumers. But we didn’t stopped to think one thing: they are used to store food, can be a breeding ground for bacteria. This is confirmed by a study conducted by the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University in California in 2011.
According to this study, the risk was found mainly in coliform bacteria, including E. coli, detected inside the bags at high levels to cause diseases. The study entitled ‘Evaluation of cross-contamination of food products in reusable bags’ coincides with another study conducted by the Washington Hospital, where it is concluded that unwashed reusable bags, pathogens grow and multiply. The problem grows when bags are left in the car, where interior temperatures become an important ally of pathogens. According to experts, if you pour gravy raw chicken in the bag after 10 hours will have developed thousands of bacterial cells.
In complete safety
Do not get alarmed. In fact, more research is needed to check the actual bacterial risk in this kind of bags and to identify more precisely what are the major pathogens associated. But it is advisable to take recommendations for the use of such bags as safe as possible:
- Separate raw foods from the rest and put them in bags or use a small plastic bag so that they are separate.
- Do not use bags for nonfood items such as detergents or books.
- Avoid storing the bags in the car for a long time.
- Wash the bags often and make sure they are completely dry before reuse.
- Save the bags away from sources of contamination, as pets or chemicals.
These measures are useful to reduce the concentration of pathogens and combating cross-contamination in food through reusable bags.
The safest shopping cart
While purchasing, pay attention to details that affect food safety, as not all need the same attention.
Raw or chilled foods require more preventive measures that do not require cold foods, such as milk or juice, cans or bottles of beverages and preserves. For refrigerated raw and not spoiled, should be returned to the refrigerator in less than an hour and a half.
It is unlikely that this term frozen thaw completely, so it can be used isothermic bags. A logical order in shopping is: foods that do not need refrigeration, refrigerated food and finally, frozen foods. If these two groups are kept close together, the cold keeps longer, because of lower contact with hot air.