How Bad Is Your Bag?

How Bad Is Your Bag? (Image 1)

Millions of reusable bags are carried around each year in this country– to the grocery store, to your house, to work, and beyond.  But NBC4’s Mikaela Hunt will show you Monday morning how dirty those bags are and why it puts your health at risk.

Mikaela has two little boys and relies on these bags to tote everything from toys to snacks around town.  She got on Facebook to reach out to other women and ask for samples of their reusable bags, curious if they would test high for bacteria with a local laboratory.  She heard back from quite a few of you and ended up testing six bags with Superior Labs in Galloway.

Once the bags were swabbed, the samples were put into petri dishes and sat for a week so that scientist James Gossard could see what developed.  What HE found is nothing short of gross on a few of the bags– and in one case it was a completely unexpected result!  A brand new bag came back positive for certain types of bacteria.

“Anytime you have a large number of bacteria it increases your chance of something bad being present.  E. Coli, Staph, or any of the viruses,” Gossard told Mikaela.

If you’ve never thought about this before, you’re not alone!  Mikaela talked to several women who haven’t properly handled their reusable bags in the past.  Their reactions range from disgusted to surprised and everything in between.  One woman says she won’t even use them anymore.

Before you decide what to do with your bags, make sure you watch our Special Report.  There are a couple of different things you can do to clean those bags and keep yourself away from bad bacteria.  Mikaela will show you how to do it and you’ll see the test results she got back from these dirty bags on Monday morning at 6 a.m. on NBC4. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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