Is there any legitimate food-safety reason to use the meat bags at the grocery store.

I bring my own bags and leave my produce loose. At the checkout, the clerks seem very concerned about ‘cross-contamination’. They are trained to bag all meat in separate plastic bags. I tell them no (unless they sneak it in while I’m not looking). Is there any legitimate reason to allow the extra bag?



  1. 0 Votes

    The packaging of the meat is not sealed, so often the juices of the meat will leak out.  This often is full of bacteria such as E. coli, which are killed when the meat is cooked.  However, the bacteria that get onto the produce and the reusable bag do not get cooked away, and can make you sick if ingested.  The best way to prevent this contamination is by bagging the meat separately and/or washing your reusable bags after putting meat in them.

  2. 0 Votes

    Actually, yes. Have you ever noticed the wetness coming from a package of meat that isn’t fully sealed? This raw meat juice can leak on your other groceries–boxes and produce, which can potentially pose a health risk, not only to you but to the people handling your groceries. It will also contaminate your reusable bags. A study testing for the presence of bacteria in people’s reusable grocery bags found coliform bacteria in half of them and E. Coli in 12% of the bags. All but one bag tested positive for some sort of HPC bacteria. By washing your bags, you can reduce the threat of contamination, but in the meantime, putting your meats (especially if you can see wetness collecting at the bottom of their plastic lining) in plastic can definitely reduce contact between the foods you eat, people’s hands, and these bacteria.

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