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Food Preservation Nothing looks better than a pantry full of home preserved foods. This is where we share information on preserving the harvest through canning, dehydrating, freezing, brining, sausage and cheese making, smoking and curing.

View Poll Results: Do you wash out and reuse ziplock bags that have had food stored in them?
Yes, I have no problem with it and do it regularly 8 42.11%
No, it is unsanitary. 10 52.63%
The idea never even occurred to me. 1 5.26%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-03-2011, 08:13 PM   #1
Ought Six
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Arrow Do you wash out your ziplock bags and reuse them?

This is something my parents do because my dad is incredibly cheap. Others do it because it is 'green'. I find it a bit horrifying. I do not see how you can get in behind the plastic up near the seal inside the bag and clean it in any meaningful way. I will reuse bags that I have put a bag of cookies in or something, but no way will I reuse one that has had food in contact with the inside of the bag.

I was just wondering what everyone else's attitude was about this.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:20 PM   #2
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Ugh, no way.Unless the bag is sterilized in a bleach and water solution it would be unsanitary for food use. Ought, do you know where the bottom of that package of cookies has been, prior to your purchase? It couldda been in some kids mouth or him sitting on it and mom put it back on the shelf
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:23 PM   #3
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I pull the inner bag out of the cardboard box and recycle the cardboard box, so no problem. With a tray of cookies in a plastic bag, I just put the tray in the bag, but do not reuse it ('food in contact', etcetera).
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* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
* I have the right to self-determination, thus I have the right to defend my liberty from tyrants who would take it from me.
* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:25 PM   #4
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I wanna know why Zip Lock freezer bags leak when defrosting the meat in a pot of warm water, with the zip end hanging over the outside edge of the pot
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:07 PM   #5
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One use only, then they hit the trash.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:12 PM   #6
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I tried but it's not easy to do and DH kept throwing them away.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:19 PM   #7
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Smart man....
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:22 PM   #8
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Nope...and I rarely buy them as they're not cheap. I prefer no name freezer bags with just twist ties.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:29 PM   #9
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It depends but usually not for food... except for my bag of kool aid packets but that is never really empty.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:31 PM   #10
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* I have the right to live, thus I have the right to defend my life from attackers who would take it from me.
* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
* I have the right to self-determination, thus I have the right to defend my liberty from tyrants who would take it from me.
* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:40 PM   #11
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No, do not reuse if they have held food.

Toys, batteries, unused cables, little things I want to keep together... then I will reuse a bag over and over again. But not for edibles.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:14 PM   #12
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I used to, but DH said we weren't living hand to mouth anymore, and we could afford to buy new ones.

Even then, only for dry foods. Never for things like raw meat.

The ones I use for quilting stuff I use over and over. Nothing is better for keeping a bunch of little pre-cut pieces together until you're ready to work with them.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:20 PM   #13
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not ones used for food
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:24 PM   #14
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I voted yes, but there were no exceptions in the poll.

Our exceptions are raw meat...we do NOT re-use those.

But those with bread, veg or dry stuff, we DO rinse out and dry and re-use. Never a problem.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:29 PM   #15
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I do but never ones that have held meat, dairy or anything iffy. To be honest, when I can sneak them into the garbage, I do - it's SO that's the cheap one when it comes to freezer bags. And no, I don't buy the name brand ones - for the one use use I prefer the cheapest possible.

I really need to convince SO it's not worth the few cents we save.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thymeless View Post
I voted yes, but there were no exceptions in the poll.

Our exceptions are raw meat...we do NOT re-use those.

But those with bread, veg or dry stuff, we DO rinse out and dry and re-use. Never a problem.
Ditto.
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thymeless View Post
I voted yes, but there were no exceptions in the poll.

Our exceptions are raw meat...we do NOT re-use those.

But those with bread, veg or dry stuff, we DO rinse out and dry and re-use. Never a problem.
If the bag didn't contain anything liquidy (meat, cheese, tomatoes, etc) then I'll wash it out and re use it for a non food purpose.

For example, Im increasing my supply of matches for LT storage and other small items on the list of 100 things that disappear in an emergency (there are a lot of small items on that list) and what's the use of storing matches if they are exposed to moisture? A clean, used bag is great for things like this.

The most important thing is we have seriously cut back on the number of zip locks we use for lunches (packed every day for husband & daughter) by using plastic food storage containers to pack the lunch sandwhiches and carrots or other snacks. We use insulated lunch bags with a little square of "blue ice" (also reusable) which has also reduced the number of brown lunch bags and the "blue ice" in an insulated bag keeps the lunch a lot fresher than packing it in a brown bag. We also use metal water bottles to eliminate bottled water for lunch. It just saves a LOT of money this way.

There are a lot of specialized recyclable "green" products for packing lunches that can be ordered via internet, in fact, it boggles the mind how much enviro-huckersterism there is for this one little life task. Do a google search for reusable sandwhich wrappers (ew!) and reusable bamboo utensils (really? why not just take one out of the silverware drawer and toss it in with lunch?) for laughs and grins.
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Last edited by clutterbug; 01-04-2011 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:18 AM   #18
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Oops, I lied. Like MA, I use them for cut quilt pieces, and also to keep small paper patterns together.
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:39 AM   #19
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I use ziplocks for several re-usable things.

I rinse out any I've frozen meat in and use them to keep my compost fuel in the refrigerator until it's ready to go out.

I freeze bread products sans packaging after I separate them until use, then I store them in the bread cabinet in the zip-locs to use as needed. I frequently will put new bread bags in the used zip-locs that have been emptied from the previously frozen items. Sometimes if too many bags that have had bread in them are laying around, I'll re-use those to keep meat in the freezer.

The zip-locs I've been storing bread in them get repeatedly re-used unless I find mold or too much moisture from potential fermentation on an old bread item.

ANY ziplocs I've already used can be re-used for the compost fuel..,

Ziplocs that have had naked meat in them ONLY are re-used for the compost. I'll re-use the ziploc I keep open bacon packages in for the next bacon package..,

I will occasionally re-use the ones that have had fresh veggies in them, after rinsing them with hot water and draining them well. But only for produce, and only if there isn't any sign of decomposition. Lettuce will very frequenlty get pretty nasty, so those get put in the compost only drawer ater rinsing and drying.

I think I cut down on the number of ziplocs I sent to the landfill by about 20% by my seemingly odd usage of them.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:07 AM   #20
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Reusing them for trash or compost material does not really qualify as a 'yes' in the poll. I was talking about reusing them for food again.
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* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
* I have the right to self-determination, thus I have the right to defend my liberty from tyrants who would take it from me.
* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:25 AM   #21
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We dont reuse them for food, dont use them much for food either, have a self of thick reuzable frezing / food grade containers.

Mostly use zip locks to store non food stuff that are then kept in bigger boxes, Xmas decorations, batteries, etc.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
Reusing them for trash or compost material does not really qualify as a 'yes' in the poll. I was talking about reusing them for food again.
Ah, reuse for food storage. You should have been more clear.

I "reuse" them to be more green. They are recycled, so less go in the trash, and it costs me less in the long run.

AND part of my reuse includes reusing for FOOD storage, e.g., breads, veggies, bacon as I stated. Maybe 50% of my reuse is for food storage.

Would you like me to edit out my "reuse for compost storage?"
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:53 PM   #23
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No, I was just talking about the poll voting. If you reuse bags you had used for food just for trash and compost, you should vote 'no' in the poll. That does not count as food bag reuse for food.
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* I have the right to live, thus I have the right to defend my life from attackers who would take it from me.
* I have the right to my private property, thus I have the right to defend my property from thieves who would take it from me.
* I have the right to self-determination, thus I have the right to defend my liberty from tyrants who would take it from me.
* The only usable tools for these tasks are guns, and thus I have the right to shoot anyone who would take my guns from me.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:52 PM   #24
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Yep, we've done it for years -- nobody's died. We use them for breaking down bulk ground beef and chicken purchases into 1 and 2 pound bags, and also some lunchmeat and turkey dog packages, but I don't reuse any that have had any kind of meat in them, raw or cooked. I don't put any outside packaging in the bag, only the foods inside. We mostly use them for dry foods, like cheese, breads, crackers, cookies, etc. We also use them for leftover pizza. We buy the generic Aldi version, which usually works out to about a nickel a bag, so if I can get 2-5 uses out of a bag, it brings it down to 1-2.5 cents per bag. Might not mean much to some, but it means I spend $2 and get $10 worth of bag use. I also do it to try to keep at least some plastic out of the trash.

I try to use them for dry stuff for the 1st and 2nd uses, and then for meats and juicier stuff for the 3rd use or more. That way I'm not throwing out bags that have only been used once or twice. Lately, I haven't been that organized or motivated to save like I was when we were really broke. $2 for a new box doesn't seem like the extravagance it did at one point.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:54 PM   #25
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You need to add a sometimes or for certain foods option in that poll.
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