Are Plastic Bag Bans Causing a Spike in Salmonella Cases?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Alain StephensNovember 30, 2016 9:30 am,

Reused grocery bags made Californians sick, a conservative Texas analyst suggested.

James Quintero, director of the Center for Local Governance at the Austin-based Texas Public Policy Foundation, brought up health implications of shoppers reusing bags during an Oct. 10, 2016, SXSW Eco panel discussion.

“There are health consequences in that,” Quintero said. “I believe this is in San Francisco: When they enacted their bag ban, you saw the number of instances of people going to the ER with things like salmonella and other related illnesses—you saw that number spike.”

Is that a fact? Gardner Selby of the PolitiFact Texas fact-checking team has the answer.

Someone on the panel responded: “Wait, that’s curious. I never heard that before.”

Quintero replied: “So you have a reusable bag, right? And then of course, people don’t clean out these bags. So when you mix meat with vegetables and fruits and other goods, and you don’t clean out that bag on a regular basis, then people are susceptible to foodborne illnesses.”

Hear how Quintero’s claim scored in the player above.