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Study: Reusable bags don't carry contaminants

Tuesday - 6/28/2011, 11:13am  ET

WASHINGTON - When word surfaced that a study found reusable bags to be contaminated, Consumer Reports decided to investigate.

First, they found the study to be nothing more than plastic bag propaganda: It was prepared by the American Chemistry Council, which is the trade group that advocates plastic bags.

Then they discovered only 84 bags were tested.

Consumer Reports took matters into their own hands and found there were few safety concerns with reusable bags.

"A person eating an average bag of salad greens gets more exposure to these bacteria than if they had licked the insides of the dirtiest bag from this study," says Michael Hansen, senior staff scientist at Consumers Union. "These bacteria can be found lots of places, so no need to go overboard."

Mostly, it's just a matter of common sense, they say. Keep meats and poultry separated from vegetables and occasionally wash the bags.

WTOP's Del Walters contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)