The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is urging supermarket shoppers to take at least two long-life bags to separate raw foods from other items.
Items like uncooked meat and fish could have traces of harmful bugs on the outside packaging, according to the agency.
Eggs and vegetables with soil on can also spread germs that cause food poisoning to other food that is ‘ready to eat’.
The agency advises labelling bags to avoid cross-contamination.
They posted on their website: “Ideally, you should have enough bags to carry raw foods, ready-to-eat foods and non-food items such as washing powder separately.
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“Keep enough bags for life for raw foods only and don’t use the same bags again for ready-to-eat foods or for carrying other household items.
“If the bag doesn’t have a label, you could either colour code the bags (including by theme if the bag has a particular design) or mark on the bags to help you keep raw items separate.”
Supermarkets are meant to offer free bags for raw meat at the checkout, despite charging a small fee for the larger bags for life.