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Monrovia Warns Reusable Grocery Bags May Carry Disease

With Monrovia having adopted a ban on plastic carry-out grocery store bags, the city is now warning that the reusable bags can carry disease. So, "Although there have only been a few documented cases of reusable bags causing illness, studies have shown that the bags can, and often do, provide an environment for bacteria, if they are not properly cared for." You need to wash them in hot water with disinfectant, and use "separate product bags for meat, poultry, seafood or other food items."

Comment: I ranted against forcing these "reusable" bags on people and said they could carry disease ( ), but to no avail. And now we're being warned that while there are few "documented" cases of the bags causing disease (How many causes of disease are ever documented?), they can indeed cause disease, and therefore, during a drought, we should spend water, energy and time, and make sure our bags are organized by food, to prevent catching food-borne diseases.

Comment 2: And come to think of it, I don't recall any mention of food-borne diseases in the staff report when the plastic carry-out bag ban was being considered by the City Council. Is people's health not a factor the council should consider in setting city policy?

- Brad Haugaard


  1. Well the clerks who pack the bags need training if we are supposed to package the food differently! That is not today's practice as seen by me.

  2. This seems way paranoid and over the top to me. It's not like Monrovia is the first adopter or even an early adopter of reusable bags. European countries have had this bag ban in place for years without issues of disease outbreaks from the reusable bags. I don't think that people that are using this as a doomsday argument against reusable bags are saying it because they are concerned about people's health, they just want to win their argument, factual or not.

  3. Are they seriously taking away our magic plastic bags that prevent cross-contamination? I used to just slap my dripping raw chicken right on top of my grapes knowing the magiplas would prevent any disease from propagating.

    Now you're telling me I need separate bags for meat and produce? Outrageous! What is this world coming to? Next you'll tell me that my trash needs to be organized by type, a fascinatingly preposterous time we are living in.

  4. Use canvas bags. Throw them in with your laundry.

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  6. That's the problem Emily. I don't want to put that stuff in my laundry. We would have to wash them separately, adding to more detergent, more WATER, more electricity etc. Who ever implemented this is turning our cities into third world countries. I will tell the clerk to put everything as it is in the cart, have a basket in the trunk of my car covered with, what else, plastic, and have someone at the market to take my cart and accommodate every thing in there. I also suggest the markets to reuse their boxes, just like Costco does.