Norovirus spread by reusable grocery bag

by NW Spotlight

The Oregonian, and a number of local TV stations – including KOIN and KGW – are reporting that in October 2010 an Oregon girls’ soccer team became violently ill with a norovirus they got from eating cookies that had been carried in a reusable grocery bag.

Oregon scientists ran lab tests to verify the reusable grocery bag was the culprit, and the report on their finding was just published today in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.┬áThe OHSU & Oregon Public Health Division report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases notes “this also illustrates one of the less obvious hazards of reusable grocery bags.”

There have been warnings of the health risks posed by reusable grocery bags, but those concerns have sometimes been overridden by politicized environmental drives to ban plastic bags. Perhaps this unfortunate case will help raise awareness of the health dangers posed by reusable grocery bags – and make state and local governments more open to the value of consumer choice and to the value of plastic bags.

As was noted in a March 2012 Oregon Catalyst article on a potential Corvallis bag ban, plastic bags are 100% recyclable and are made in the U.S., using domestic natural gas and they support American jobs.