Are zip top bags safe to reuse? This is what the experts say.

If you cook, chances are you find yourself with leftover bits and bobs that need to be stored — you know, half an onion, a lemon wedge, or the rest of that big block of Parmesan. The part you are working on.

In my kitchen, I try to eliminate as much food waste as possible, so I usually won't throw away anything that hasn't gone bad. Which means I have a freezer full of allium scraps for stock and leftover apple slices for pie. It also means I run. very much of zip top bags.

While I love the convenience of Ziploc, not to mention how it keeps food (and non-food items) organized and fresh in and out of the fridge, I don't like the fact that I waste food. reducing Running through plastic bags. So I had to think about how I could reuse these bags.

I contacted the Ziploc brand to ask some questions about reuse. I also spoke with Martin Bucknage, a food safety expert in the Penn State Department of Food Science.

Can you safely reuse your Ziploc bag?

In short, yes but with few limitations.

All Ziploc bags, from snack bags to freezer bags, are safe to reuse. The folks at Ziploc told me this is due to the “high-quality materials that (bags) are strong enough to reuse,” while reiterating that their bags are reusable many times.

While it's best to reuse dry items such as pretzels or hard candy in bags, Bucknavage says, the most important decision when considering whether or not to reuse them has to do with What were the food items in the bags?

Ziploc experts advise against reusing bags that have contained raw meat, fish, eggs or potentially allergenic foods.. “It can be difficult to get rid of microbes, especially after storing raw meat and fish products in it,” Bucknavage agrees. “Those objects are known to carry pathogens,” he says.

He also stresses the importance of noting allergens when reusing bags in allergy-prone homes and suggests “perishable items that contain spoilage microbes such as cheese and produce, especially if they There is any defect in the items.”

Just Recipes / Mark Behm

How to Recycle Your Zip Top Bag

If you don't have raw meat, fish or eggs in the bag and want to reuse it, It should be washed by hand, inside and out, with soap and warm water..

The key to making sure your food is safe and bacteria-free when using a zip-top bag for a second or third time is to make sure any food has aired (inside) the bag before storing it. (out) completely dry.

What are the signs it's time to toss your zip-top bag?

Ziploc says that if you see any holes, tears, or punctures in your bag, it's time to say goodbye. Other signs that your bag is no longer good for reuse include stains or odors after washing and drying, any noticeable stretching, or a damaged seal.

Bags should not be reused if they contain any raw animal products or allergens, and if you're not sure, it's always “better to err on the side of safety,” Bucknage says.

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