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Reusable grocery bags found to be full of bacteria

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Friday, June 25, 2010

HEALTH

Reusable bags found to be dirty

A reminder to shoppers who use reusable grocery bags: Don't forget to wash them after you've emptied them.

Nearly every bag examined for bacteria by researchers at the University of Arizona and Loma Linda University found whopping amounts of bugs. Coliform bacteria, suggesting raw-meat or uncooked-food contamination, was in half of the bags, and E. coli was found in 12 percent of the bags.

Running the bags through a washer or cleaning them by hand reduced bacteria levels to almost nothing, the study reported, but nearly all shoppers questioned said they do not regularly, if ever, wash their reusable bags. About a third said they also used their food-shopping bags to haul around non-food items.

The study was funded by the American Chemistry Council amid debate over a California bill that would ban single-use plastic bags. The council is opposed to that measure.

-- Los Angeles Times

Too many people eat too much salt

Adults should eat less than a teaspoon of salt each day, but a new federal report says that just 1 in 10 meets the goal.

Sodium increases the risk of high blood pressure, which is a major cause of heart disease and stroke. Salt -- or sodium chloride -- is the main source of sodium for most people.

Overall, only 1 in 10 adults meets the teaspoon standard, according to the study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The research repeated what others have found, that the vast majority of dietary salt comes from processed and restaurant foods. And it concluded that salt is most commonly found in cold cuts and other meats, and in baked goods and other items counted as grain-based products.


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© 2010 The Washington Post Company

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