January 10, 2013

Antibacterial Clean Bags: Avoid illness from unclean reusable shopping bags

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Last year, it was all over the news that reusable shopping bags were responsible for an outbreak of viruses. MSNBC reported on one such case:

Eventually, interviews revealed that most of those who became ill ate packaged cookies at a Sunday lunch. Where did the cookies come from? Turns out, the culprit was a reusable grocery bag of snacks left in the empty hotel room occupied by the first girl who got sick.
Quickly, the puzzle fell into place. The girl had been very ill in the hotel bathroom, spreading an aerosol of norovirus that landed everywhere, including on the reusable grocery bag hanging in the room.

I launder my reusable shopping bags often, but not before each shopping trip. One solution is antimicrobial and antibacterial bags, like the ones from Go Clean Bags.

At first, I assumed these bags used nanoparticles or some other such questionable method to be "naturally" resistant. Clean Bags uses Chitosan:

We do not use hazardous Triclosan used in products like antibacterial soap, clothing, toothpaste nor do we use Nano-Silver. We coat all our bags and inserts with a Chitosan based solution!

Haven't heard of Chitosan? Well Chitosan naturally inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and fungi. It is produced from chitin (ki'tin), a natural resource that is abundantly renewable. Chitin is a primary substance found in the discarded shells of crustaceans, such as crabs. It contains unique antimicrobial properties and is naturally non-allergenic, especially for consumers sensitive to shellfish. The antibacterial mechanism of the solution chitosan is a non-leaching type, which means that chitosan cannot be released from the textile onto food products in the bag.

Bacteria, mold and fungus deteriorate fabric. Chitosan prevents the formation of these microorganisms, maintaining the fabric's integrity. Since Chitosan is produced from a natural resource, it is 100% safe and studies from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded, "no adverse ecological effects have thus far been attributed to its presence." We still advise to wash our bags and they will stay antibacterial and antimicrobial for a period of six months and over 20 washes.

Some people actually take Chitosan as a supplement, which does imply something of its safety around your food.

It still seems like regular washing of reusable shopping bags is a viable solution, but if you are especially concerned about germs and viruses, Clean Bags is for you!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at January 10, 2013 9:49 AM

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