Imagine that a few employees in your office have been poisoned after eating food from the office fridge.
What would that mean for you as an office manager or the boss?
First, you lost some workforce due to employees taking sick leave. Second, the office kitchen hygiene is poorly managed.
This negatively affects the company and the employees comfort and safety.
To avoid food poisoning in the future, you need some office kitchen rules for everybody to follow.
You can’t control every employee who uses the office kitchen, but you can request them to follow an office kitchen etiquette.
See below tips on how to have your employees follow hygiene practices in the workplace that maintains the kitchen clean.
6 Office kitchen etiquette checklist
To maintain the kitchen clean and hygienic in the office, all employees must follow specific guidelines, as shown below.
These guidelines should request from employees to:
1. Clean up after themselves
The employees should throw their trash in the garbage can, wipe up any spills, and remove their spoiled food stocked in the fridge, etc.
2. Leave appliances clean after themselves
It’s annoying when you have to clean up the mess after someone in the kitchen office.
That’s why, after using office appliances such as a toaster or a microwave, employees should check and clean up any crumbs or splatters left on them.
3. Wipe up the spills
After using the microwave or rinsing their coffee mug, employees should wipe out any spills from the floor after that.
4. Don’t leave dirty dishes or silverware in the sink
After drinking a coffee or having lunch, employees should wash, rinse, and put to dry their cups and dishes right away.
5. Avoid bringing smelly foods to the office
Employees should avoid bringing odorous food into the office.
Most employees are not tolerant to the smell that delicious fish releases, especially after being warmed up in the microwave.
6. Maintain the office fridge hygiene
The shared fridge in the office is the place where all employees store their food. Sometimes employees forget about it and the food alters.
Employees should take note of their food stored in the refrigerator and remove their food if it is already spoiled.
Office fridge hygiene tips
Why does the office fridge need to be maintained clean and hygienic?
First of all, it prevents germs from spreading throughout the office and avoids food contamination among employees.
One of the first rules is set the correct temperature inside the fridge.
The correct temperature for safe food storing
The point is to set the cooling temperature inside the fridge under which the food stays safe without developing bacteria.
Remember that food stored under the temperature of 40F (40C) is safe to consume while food stored in temperature above 40F (40C) is less safe to consume because it develops bacteria faster.
Here are some tips to maintaining the safe temperature in the refrigerator:
7 Shared office fridge rules for employees
1. When storing food in the fridge, use the minimum real estate to leave enough space for other coworkers who need to store their food.
2. Throw away abandoned food.
Remove any abandoned food items from the fridge.
Fed up? Don’t put the remained food back into the fridge only to remember about it after it spoils.
3. Avoid storing smelly food inside the fridge. Your coworkers don’t want their yogurt to absorb the smell of your garlic fish.
4. Foods with a passed expiration date or food looking and smelling questionable should be thrown away.
5. Place the food in airtight containers before storing it into the office fridge.
6. Store ready-to-eat foods such as cheese, yogurt, cooked meats and leftovers on the middle and on the top shelves.
7. Store raw meat, fish and poultry in sealed containers on the bottom shelf so they don’t touch or drip onto other foods.
Let your staff know about these guidelines
Once you’ve created the office kitchen and fridge etiquette, share it with your staff so that everybody is aware of these rules.
You can do that in two ways:
1. Post a sign near the refrigerator as a reminder about the office kitchen etiquette.
2. Send out a group office kitchen etiquette email requesting all employees to follow the kitchen hygiene rules mentioned in the email.
Kitchen and fridge hygiene have a special place in the general hygiene of the office because in its absence may have your employees food poisoned. This can make your staff horribly ill.
So, don’t take office kitchen hygiene lightly.
Create an office kitchen and fridge etiquette for every employee to follow and let them know about these rules through posters and email reminders.