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Germy Reusable Shopping Bags

Lately, a lot of news articles have been coming out saying that reusable bags are filled with all sorts of icky bacteria.  

Fear not.  Mother Jones reports:  "But you have to look at what the likelihood of that is," says Craig Hedberg, a professor in the University of Minnesota's Division of Environmental Health Sciences. "Probably your meat is going to be in a container, not leaking." And the likelihood?  Hedberg says, "Theoretically this could happen, but it's not likely."

Here are a few tips for keeping your bags germ-free:

Wash your bags and wash them regularly. Most people don't even think about washing them.  (Um, yes, this includes me.  Oops.)   Careful with those cheap reusable bags that you can get at the store for 99 cents.  The washing machine may rip them to shreds to wash by hand.   

Dry your bags in the sun.  Sunlight kills bacteria.  Hang 'em to dry outside.  

Keep meat and produce separate.  Sometimes you have to watch supermarket baggers to make sure they abide by this as well.  

• If you're still concerned, the less eco-friendly option is to opt to put meat in a plastic bag.  Don't forget to reuse or recycle them afterwards, though.