A new study funded by groups opposed to the recent bill banning single-use paper or plastic shopping bags shows that reusable shopping bags pose a risk that food could be cross-contaminated, according to the Pasadena Star News.
“We took the position that if the state is going to adopt a policy, they ought to understand the unintended consequences,” said Tim Shestek, senior director of the American Chemistry Council.
Researchers at Loma Linda University and the University of Arizona found that because reusable shopping bags are rarely cleaned, bacteria in these bags are capable of increasing ten-fold in an automobile's trunk within two hours.
Although no one has reported getting food poisioning from cross-contamination via reusable bags, 95 percent of reusable shopping bag owners reported they never washed out their bag.
Staler Bros.' chariman and CEO Jack Brown, who supports the ban on plastic bags, said that there needs to be an education component that would tell consumers about the need to wash the reusable bags.