Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Reusable Grocery Bags: Time to Get the Lead Out?

Previous reports that reusable shopping bags can collect bacteria did little to dissuade some people from using them.

Now, however, in further proof that there’s likely something environmentally wrong with most everything, the Tampa Tribune reports that reusable bags sold by two grocery store chains, Winn-Dixie and Publix, contain lead that could, after disposal, leach into groundwater.  That has a powerful U.S. Senator calling for an investigation.

The Florida newspaper reported that its lab tests found some reusable grocery bags exceeded federal limits for lead and that paint on the bags might flake off over time, which presumably could contaminate food.  Similar findings have been reported in other areas, and some retail chains have stopped using or have recalled their bags.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, wrote to FDA Commissioner to Margaret Hamburg asking her to look into the problem.

Schumer complained that most of the reusable bags are made in China. “China, a country that has flaunted safety when it comes to American imports over and over again. Whether it’s toys or food or now bags, China has no regard for American safety,” the New York senator fumed.

Some experts say when both food safety and environmental concerns are taken into account, the best choice in grocery totes may be recycled paper bags.

© Food Safety News
  • Doc Mudd

    Yes, but recycled paper bags simply don’t adequately telegraph to the common rabble a vital subliminal message, to wit: “Look at trendy me! I’m a smug %*@%!”
    Bacteria, lead and boosting China’s booming economy. Nice. Go Green at any cost!

  • marcoda

    I don’t think it’s the people honestly trying to do their part to help the earth that’s to blame. It’s those taking advantage of that desire and cutting corners to make a quick buck that need to be smacked.