Ottawa – On this Family Day long weekend, the CFIA Canadian Food Inspection Agency, issued a friendly reminder about food safety and reusable grocery bags. Many jurisdictions are banning or in the process of banning plastic grocery bags. It’s easy to forget that reusuables have to have a little TLC to protect you and your family.
Reusable grocery bags and bins can collect harmful bacteria from foods. These bacteria can also contaminate other foods or items in the bags/bins and put you at risk of food poisoning.
Lower the risk of cross-contamination and food poisoning by following these food safety tips.
At the store
- Wrap your raw meat, poultry, and seafood in individual plastic bags (found in most produce and meat sections). This will help prevent juices from leaking out and contaminating your reusable bags/bins and other foods.
- Wrap fresh produce in plastic bags to help protect them from contamination. It’s particularly important to avoid contaminating fresh foods that will not be cooked before eating.
- Use separate bags/bins for produce and raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
Cleaning reusable bags
- Machine-wash your cloth bags frequently, especially after using them to carry fresh produce, meat, poultry, and seafood.
- Hand-wash reusable grocery bags inside out with hot soapy water if they aren’t machine-washable.
- Dry your grocery bags after washing.
- If juices from food have leaked into the bag, make sure to wash it thoroughly before using again.
- Thoroughly wash your bags before using them for groceries if they’ve been used to carry non-food items.