The plastic bag ban will go into full effect on March 1st, however, some stores such as Wegmans have already eliminated such bags. Wegmans will still offer paper bags but will charge 5 cents per bag (proceeds will go to the Food Bank). As a result, shoppers will have to utilize reusable bags if they do not want to purchase paper bags.
Now the gross part. Reusable bags are serious germ factories. One study found that 10% of bags contained E. coli after being used a few times. So what do you do? You clean them and you clean them often! Wegmans reusable bags come with a tag that states you should clean your bags with soapy water and let them air dry. You might want to give them a cleaning with a disinfectant wipe too! Just make sure they are dry either way before folding them up!
Finally, you might want to designate one bag for meat, poultry, and fish and one bag for just dairy items. This will cut down on the chances of cross contamination. Also don’t leave bags is a dark humid place like your car’s trunk. This could also breed bacteria. So take care of your reusable bags!