Dis­pen­sary Corner

Pharmacy Daily - - NEWS -

WHILE good for the en­vi­ron­ment, the move­ment to elim­i­nate plas­tic shop­ping bags may have some un­in­tended health con­se­quences ac­cord­ing to Bri­tain’s Food Stan­dards Agency (FSA).

Re­us­able shop­ping bags may cause mi­cro­bial cross con­tam­i­na­tion and should be colour coded or la­belled so shop­pers can have sep­a­rate bags for raw foods, pack­aged items and house­hold prod­ucts such as de­ter­gent, ac­cord­ing to new FSA rec­om­men­da­tions.

Pack­ag­ing can har­bour traces of harm­ful bac­te­ria that can cause stom­ach bugs, the agency warned in a blog post, urg­ing con­sumers to take com­mon sense steps “to min­imise the chances of get­ting food poi­son­ing”.

“Even if there are no ob­vi­ous spillages or stain­ing af­ter sev­eral uses we would rec­om­mend that cot­ton/fab­ric ‘bags for life’ be ma­chine washed reg­u­larly if they have been used for car­ry­ing raw items,” it added.

A new UK reg­u­la­tion re­quires large shops to charge 5p for sin­gle use plas­tic bags, while in Aus­tralia ma­jor su­per­mar­kets such as Coles and Wool­worths have also an­nounced plans to phase out plas­tic bags.

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