When you think of workplace dangers, what do you think of? If you are like many people, you immediately picture large, clanging machines. Maybe your mind even wanders to slippery floors and other similar hazards. Chances are high that the office refrigerator didn’t enter your thoughts.
Take a moment to think of the fridge in your workplace. Is it clean? Is it cold enough? When was the last time it was cleaned out? Office refrigerators are a virtual breeding ground for mold and other bacteria, any of which can make you ill. Here are some tips for making the office fridge a safer place for your food — and your health.
The proper temperature for a refrigerator is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Food should never be stored above this temperature. Bacteria growth can double in as little as 20 minutes when the fridge is set to warmer temperatures.
Many office workers share food like ketchup, mayonnaise and other condiments. Keep an eye on the expiration dates and throw them away when that date comes. Don’t risk keeping things around longer than you should.
Keep your food covered. Better yet, keep your food covered and in a closed lunch container. You can buy any one of a number of reusable lunch bags or totes that fit perfectly in the fridge.
If you forget to eat your lunch and decide to grab it a few days later, give it a good sniff. If your food smells “off,” throw it out. Don’t eat any food that smells strange.
The office refrigerator should be cleaned out at least once a month. The refrigerator and freezer should be emptied and the insides cleaned out with hot soapy water. Let the people in your office know you will be cleaning out the refrigerator and discarding any unclaimed or expired items. Share the responsibility of the monthly cleaning among employees. People who are tasked with cleaning the fridge are more likely to keep it clean to begin with.
A clean and sanitary refrigerator is just one of the keys to good office health. If your team does not have a cleaning plan in place, talk to your boss about creating one. Your co-workers will thank you the next time they pull their lunchbox out of a sparkling refrigerator.
If you have been injured at work due to someone’s negligence or error, call our office. A member of our team will provide you with a free case evaluation and advise you of your options. Call now or browse our website for more information about how we can assist you.