Cities across California, including San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco, are beginning to ban the use of plastic bags in stores in order to become more environmentally friendly; however, the movement towards reusable shopping bags may greatly increase the risk of food poisoning in consumers. A recent study by the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University has found that reusable bags can easily become a breeding ground for E. coli and other dangerous food poisoning bacteria.
Consumers who have purchased and regularly use the bags were interviewed and reusable bags from several different cities were sampled to find out how high the rate of bacteria was in these eco-friendly bags. Over half of the bags sampled contained various bacteria and an average of 12% of the bags had E. coli growing in them. However, there were no bacteria found in new bags, demonstrating how bag owner behavior leads to the growth of these bacteria.
Out of all consumers interviewed, 97% said that they never washed their reusable bags, and a large portion said that they also used the bags to carry non-food items like gym clothes and books. The lack of sanitizing measures and the presence of other items can create an atmosphere of cross contamination and bacteria growth. Most reusable bags have no information on how or when to clean them.
Various bacteria, like E. coli and salmonella, can cause severe illness and even death in those exposed to them. When food is contaminated with these pathogens, consumers rarely know it until they are feeling the effects of digesting them. Food poisoning is a serious matter, and when negligent actions cause it to occur, the responsible parties can be held liable.
If you or someone you know has suffered due to food poisoning caused by another’s negligent actions, a San Jose food poisoning attorney with Caputo & Van Der Walde can help you win the compensation you deserve. Our law team has years of experience that they can use to your advantage when pursuing your rightful compensation. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation at (800) 900-0863.