If some employees in the office don’t maintain the hygiene in the kitchen this may contaminate the food they eat at lunch.
The consequences of eating poisoned food are vomit and diarrhea, and the severity of these symptoms ranges from feeling uncomfortable to being hospitalized to death, in some cases.
Besides having the employee feeling unwell, the company’s medical care expenses increase, while the employee productivity decreases.
The good thing is that you can prevent this kind of negative effect at work by having your employees follow hygiene kitchen etiquette.
Imagine how the office kitchen hygiene would improve if all employees would follow good hygiene practices in the workplace.
Below, you find tips about how to maintain the kitchen in the office clean and hygienic.
Office kitchen etiquette
If the company provides a kitchen for the employee’s convenience, they should respect anyone who uses it.
To maintain the office kitchen hygienic ask everybody using it to follow these guidelines.
1. Clean up after yourself
The employees should put their trash in the garbage can, wipe up any spills, and throw away their spoiled food, etc.
2. Leave appliances clean after yourself
After using office appliances like a toaster or a microwave, employees should check if they didn’t leave any crumbs or splatters on them.
Coworkers are annoyed when they have to clean someone else’s mess before using the office appliance.
3. Wipe up the spills
Wipe up any spills on the floor, after using the microwave or after rinsing out your coffee mug.
4. Don’t leave dirty dishes or silverware in the sink
After drinking a coffee or having lunch, wash the dishes right away, rinse them, and put them to dry.
5. Avoid bringing smelly foods to the office
Don’t bring odorous food into the office. Most employees are not tolerant of the smell that delicious fish releases after being warmed up in the microwave.
6. Maintain the office fridge hygiene
The office fridge stores all the food that employees bring with them to work. This food needs to be stored correctly inside the office fridge to prevent any food contamination.
Office fridge hygiene tips
If the hygiene in the office fridge is not maintained, it may become a breeding ground for germs.
This may poison the food stored in the fridge and eventually contaminate the employees who will eat it.
Here is how to maintain hygiene in the office kitchen fridge.
The correct temperature for safe food storing
Maintaining the correct temperature in the office fridge slows down the bacteria growth in stored food.
The general rule is that storing food under the temperature of 40F (4C), the food is safe to be consumed while storing it at the fridge temperature between 40F (4C) makes bacteria on food grow much faster making it dangerous to eat.
Other useful tips:
Shared office fridge rules
1. When storing food in the fridge, try using the minimum real estate to leave enough space for other employees to store their food.
2. Throw away abandoned food.
Fed up? Don’t put your food back in the fridge to remember about it only when it spoils.
Spoiled food might be a health risk.
So, remove any abandoned food items from the fridge.
3. Employees should avoid storing smelly food in the fridge. Their coworkers don’t want their yogurt to absorb the smell of other employee’s fish.
4. Items and foods with a passed expiration date and food looking or 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. Put raw mean, fish and poultry in sealed containers on the bottom shelf so they don’t touch each other 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.
1. Post a sign near the refrigerator for a reminder about the hygiene rules in the kitchen.
2. Send out a group email to the entire team requesting everybody to follow the hygiene rules in the office kitchen 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.