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Wegmans Food Markets has discontinued the sales of two models of its reusable shopping bags following preliminary testing on a limited number of bags indicated there might be elevated levels of lead in the green pea and holiday 2009 models. The Rochester, N.Y.-based grocery chain emphasized that only those two designs would be pulled from stores, and that all other Wegmans reusable bags would remain available for sale.
“Customers can continue to safely use both of [the affected] designs,” noted Wegmans director of media relations Jo Natale. “This is not a food safety or children’s health concern. The eventual disposal of the bags is the only issue, from an environmental perspective.” The grocer introduced the reusable bag line to help shoppers cut down on their use of single-use grocery bags.
Wegmans has placed signs in its stores and website to inform customers that bags are safe to use but should be returned to the food retailer when they’re no longer usable. At that time, the company will replace the bag with another, unaffected model and properly dispose of the returned bag.
“We decided to discontinue these two designs out of an abundance of caution and because of our commitment to sustainability and the environment,” said Natale. “It’s important that consumers know that both of these designs are safe to use and reuse, as intended.”
Wegmans operates 76 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland.