Shopping with reusable bags and containers

How to safely reuse shopping bags and other reusable food containers, plus more food shopping safety tips.

Reusable shopping bags for food

Wash reusable bags often. After shopping, there can be harmful germs inside them. These can spread to new food the next time you shop and make you sick. They can also get spread into the home and other places.

Separate raw meats, poultry (like chicken), and fish from your dry goods, fresh produce, and ready-to-eat foods. This reduces cross-contamination (spreading germs) between foods.

Follow this rule in the kitchen, the fridge, your shopping trolley, and with shopping bags or containers.

How to handle raw meat safely and avoid cross-contamination

Reusable food containers

When bringing your own containers to the supermarket deli, follow these 3 steps to ensure your food stays safe to eat.

  • Make sure your containers are clean and dry before storing them.
  • Make sure the containers don’t leak and the lids have a good seal.
  • Keep deli and raw items sealed (and ideally separated) in a chilly bin filled with ice packs when transporting.

Other food safety shopping tips

  • Make sure raw meats, poultry, and fish are well wrapped. Ensure packaging is not leaking before you leave the store.
  • To keep food fresher, try to do your food shopping last, just before you go home.
  • Use a chilly bag or bin to transport chilled or frozen foods. Move these to the fridge or freezer as soon as you get home. Use an ice pack if you can't get food into a fridge or freezer straight away.

Find other food safety tips for the home

Who to contact

If you have questions about food safety at home, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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