When Do We Clean Shopping Bags?

Dear FlyLady,

I was wondering if you could do a post on cleaning things we don’t think about.  For example the cloth bags people use for groceries.  They can be teeming with bacteria or drippings from meat and people to not think to wash them.

A friend of mine had recurrent food poisoning and it was finally traced to the shopping bags.  I am writing to you as people listen to what you suggest.  I appreciate what you do and I’m hoping this might save someone’s health.

FlyBaby Deborah

Dear Deborah,

This is such a good question. In order to save the environment, we put ourselves in harms way. Our grocery bags do wipe up with ease and they will survive a washing machine.  I know how you feel about chicken juice. I would probably still have them put my meat in a bag just because of my dislike of chicken leaks. eeewww. If your bags are beyond washing in hot water then they are trash and should be thrown away.

Maybe we need to put this on our calendar. Check your grocery bags after you have unloaded your grocery bags. Place them in the washing machine at least once a month. But if they are messy you may have to wash them more often.

Our set of Grocery Bags come with two black insulated bags and three purple bags about the size of a large paper sack.

There is a good way to see if they will work for you. Get 5 paper grocery bags and see if you can fit all your weeks worth of groceries in them. If you can’t then you may need to get two sets.

I would mark one of the insulated ones with a green ribbon and use it for produce. I don’t ever mix fresh vegetables and meat. So color coding your grocery bags with ribbons or markers will help you with cross contamination.

We know that these are not going to become clutter in your home. Because as soon as you put away your groceries you will put them back in your car for your next grocery shopping day! You may have to put a Post-It Note on your dashboard to remind you to take them in the grocery store. They will all fold up into one bag.

What I like about the the  FlyLady Grocery Bags is that they don’t play the slip and slide in the trunk of my car with my groceries having to be repacked before I take them in the house.

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