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View Diary: Question is, what DO we need them for? (151 comments)

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  •  Wondering about recent "news" (23+ / 0-)

    reporting that re-usable shopping bags can spread e coli bacteria.

    Apparently, its unlikely, but the story keeps popping up in the news.  The story was in heavy news rotation the last couple of weeks.

    Apparently, the Texas legislature is so concerned about our rights to have disposable plastic bags, they're passing a law to protect it.  I'm sure that has nothing to do with the fact that Houston is home to most of the plants and headquarters for the plastics industry.

    It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

    by Betty Pinson on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 05:18:43 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  And you could, you know, wash them (12+ / 0-)

      A few seconds of hot water, then hang them on the shower rod overnight.

      If the hot water is an economic hardship for you, your shopping bag is probably not going to be your #1 e coli worry spot.

      ad astra per alia porci

      by harrije on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 05:33:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And if there's e coli in a shopping bag (12+ / 0-)

        the owner should stop using it to carry manure.  E coli comes from fecal matter, so it seems a remote chance any would find its way into a shopping bag.

        I got a kick out of the "Shopping Bag FREEDOM Act", though.

        It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

        by Betty Pinson on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 05:52:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You do realize that e coli is found everywhere, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          radical simplicity

          especially on fruit and meat.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:18:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  According to disease experts (9+ / 0-)

            No, its pretty remote. According to this scientist, who reviewed the study:

            What the study didn’t identify, however, were the specific strains of E. coli found in the bags, and Dr. Susan Fernyak, director of San Francisco’s Communicable Disease and Control Prevention division, believes there was never any risk of widespread, or even isolated, sickness.

            “Your average healthy person is not going to get sick from the bacteria that were listed,” she told NPR.

            Link

            It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

            by Betty Pinson on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:26:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  e.Coli is found (4+ / 0-)

            in the digestive tracts of warm-blooded animals (birds and mammals).  If it's found anywhere else, it's origin was in some critter's (or person's) digestive tract.

            So if you're finding it on your fruits and vegetables, it's because of manure used as fertilizer, or just from birds crapping on it in the field, or from an unsanitary handling condition somewhere along the line from field to grocery or field to table.

            Most e.Coli is harmless.  It's considered an indicator bacteria, though, because if there's e.Coli present, then there is a chance that nasty bacteria that are harmful are also present.

      •  A few seconds of hot water won't do it. Since (0+ / 0-)

        you can't use bleach you need to either spend half an hour doing a thorough hand washing or dunk it in something like CaviCide or Sporox both of which are pretty expensive (CaviCide is $10 for 24 ounces, Sporox is $50 for a gallon and both need to be used full strength and not diluted).  Remember, you are trying to disinfect the bags, not just remove a little visible dirt.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:17:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why are you thinking of disinfecting? (7+ / 0-)

          There are 3 components to getting sick;

          1) How many germs get on or into the body at a specific location (mouth, lungs, other orifice, skin, wound)

          2) How virulent the strain is. One of the problems overuse of antibiotics and other practices create.

          3) Susceptibility of the person. Immune function can be compromised by the over obsession with cleaning.

          Study was done years ago on use of the Communion cups - before AIDS and superbugs, and why more disease was not spread. Turned out the cloth wiping that was done at the time was sufficient to reduce the number of germs.

          The physical rubbing of hands and running water to thoroughly rinse every nook and cranny, as opposed to a hand cleaning gel, is essential to good hygiene if they are soiled. Healthcare workers are supposed to wash after they have used hand gel 5 times.

          Since you can't use bleach
          Why not? Detergent or laundry soap work fine. A small amount of bleach in a basin of rinse water would be better. You could also use rubbing alcohol although it is better to get rid of any solid dirt. Vinegar works on mold, should be used to pretreat, then wash.

          Intelligent cleaning and good health practices will prevent most infections. Over cleaning as you describe also increases exposure to harmful chemicals.

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:59:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can't use bleach because unless the bag (0+ / 0-)

            in question is white it will mess it up pretty bad.  You could use that oxy clean stuff (or generic) though.

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 09:41:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Depends on the bag. Most of mine are (0+ / 0-)

              covered with a film, the others don't hold up very well. The bleach in the rinse water would spread the effect, if it really matters.

              "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

              by Ginny in CO on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:09:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  A shopping bag does not need any more (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          freesia, sethtriggs

          thorough washing than the kitchen towels.

          This better be good. Because it is not going away.

          by DerAmi on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 05:57:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Reminds me of the contortions we had to go (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimpy, sethtriggs

      through in the '40s and '50s to satisfy the Wisconsin "butter lobby", in order to get "yellow", "stick-shaped", margarine to our tables.  We had to buy white margarine in 1-lb blocks, let it soften in order to mix in the yellow coloring powder with a potato masher, then smear all that into a plastic tray with butter-stick-shaped compartments, put the tray in the fridge for awhile, then pop out the sticks.  And no!, it definitely did not taste like butter.

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