Fighting BAC with Clean, Reusable Bags


Lynn NakanakamuraTenganmura-Tengan is an Extension Educator at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Lynn and her team at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources developed and disseminated information on Germ-free Reusable Bags (GRUB) through the Nutrition Education for Wellness website, Hawaii county website, National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences national meeting, workshops, and various community events. Download the flyer here:

Lynn shares the story of “Jan” and how she changed her reusable bags practices after learning about GRUB.

Reusable Bags are Handy for This Volunteer

Jan is an active 72-year-old retired teacher and a volunteer with church and senior groups. She frequently uses her reusable grocery bags to make purchases for her church and for older adults needing assistance with food shopping.

Hot Van + Dirty Bags = Potential Food Safety Risk

Jan kept a handy collection of reusable bags in the back of her van.  Her concerns were about the bags tearing and getting worn. She never thought about the food safety risks of cross-contamination when she reused her bags.

Jan saw the GRUB (Germ-free Re-Usable Bags) handout at a supermarket exhibit featuring healthy lifestyles. The display included information about keeping grocery bags clean to prevent cross- contamination. The handout information resonated with Jan and her desire to keep the older adults she serves healthy and safe.

Clean Bags- Help Keep Food Safe

Jan now washes her reusable grocery bags after each usGRUB Handoute, ready for the next time she’s out shopping.

Lynn says, “We help people understand simple steps to keep their food safe and be confident they are doing their best for their family and friends”.