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Anti Bacterial Bag Aims to Cut Food Poisoning
The government’s introduction of a 5p charge for individual plastic bags may have pleased environmentalists but it has also led to concerns over the safety of reusable bags or “bags for life” as they are commonly known.
Studies in the US have concluded that the bags can contain bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli after being regularly used. Researchers in San Francisco even found that when retailers were banned from giving plastic bags to shoppers, rates of food poisoning in the city increased.
Problems are thought to have been created by the use of the bags for carrying raw meat alongside other products such as fruit and vegetables. Now a British company has developed the ‘Biomaster’ a reusable bag coated in an active agent that claims to prevent bacterial multiplication. Manufacturers say that the bags will guard against 50 types of harmful bacteria including, E.coli, listeria, salmonella, MRSA and campylobacter. They hope to have the first bags on the market in a month.
While welcoming the move, Professor Hugh Pennington, Professor of Bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen still feels consumers need to take sensible precautions when using bags for life. “As long as the anti-bacterial substance has been tested and found to be harmless to humans there might be a small benefit,” he said. “All raw meat should be wrapped in a one-use bag and the antibacterial properties of a bag, I would say, are much more useful, though of limited use for putting your veg in a bag loose.”