The Checkup: Most Reusable Shopping Bags Are Swimming in Germs

Most of us don’t wash reusable grocery bags frequently enough. Oops.

• Sure, you’re doing your part for the planet by using those cloth shopping bags instead of paper or plastic at the grocery store. But if you don’t give ‘em a good cleaning every now and then, you might be doing more harm to yourself than you realize. A new study found that only 15 percent of Americans—fewer than  1 in 6—regularly wash cloth grocery bags, creating a breeding ground for germs to prosper. Think about it: You put a carton of raw chicken breast in there and lug it home. Maybe a tiny bit of the juice leaks out (ew). Then the next time you use the bag, it carries a dozen apples. Guess where the bacteria from that chicken juice ends up? Yeah.

• Interesting finding: A study at Rutgers found that caffeine and exercise may help lower skin-cancer risk and offer some cancer-prevention benefits—at least in lab mice.

• In more depressing “we sit too much” news, Finnish researchers conducted a study which found that, no matter how much you exercise, most people still end up sitting on their rears for most—70 percent—of the day. Writes the New York Times: “Their results suggest that normal exercise, which fills so few hours of even active people’s days, ‘may not be enough in terms of health.’”

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