The staff lunchroom refrigerator, preserver or composter of food Items?
This is the 2nd article written by Duticall office cleaning specialists in our series on cleanliness and hygiene in the lunchroom, and in this article, we are discussing the communal staff lunchroom refrigerator.
As was the case with the lunchroom microwave oven How to Clean & Manage the Staff Lunch Room Microwave Oven, the staff fridge, is generally neglected and is one of those areas in the workplace where everyone is of the understanding that someone must be cleaning & maintaining it….yeah sure they are!
During our regular site visits to our clients & prospective clients premise, we get to check out the internals of plenty of staff refrigerators. The overall condition would range from ‘clean & hygienic’, where a regular maintenance service is carried out, to downright dangerous! We like to refer to last nights Tuna Casserole leftovers, that are now 2 weeks old and have transformed into something with a pulse and needing a shave, as “A Science Project”.
It’s amazing that co-workers can place their freshly cut ham & salad sandwich lunch in the same space as a container of toxic, unrecognisable slime and be oblivious to the dangers lurking within the fridge. Such an important piece of equipment in a busy workplace deserves some love and attention to ensure that cleanliness & hygiene are maintained. Particularly where food is involved.
Here are a few interesting facts about items stored in the typical work fridge…
- Soups & stews are good for no more than 3-4 days
- Beef, lamb & pork around 3-5 days
- Leftover takeaway like Chinese or Thai food 3-4 days
- Milk around 7 days
- But remember, the more use the fridge gets used, i.e opening of the door and the higher the ambient temperature, the harder it has to work to maintain an internal temperature that will preserve its contents.
So here are a few tips for making sure your fridge is clean & hygienic and not a haven for pathogenic bacteria that can contaminate food items.
Cleaning & Maintenance Tips for the Staff Refrigerator
- Include the cleaning of the inside of your refrigerator in the regular commercial cleaning schedule. Weekly is ideal.
- Plan a toss out of food items at the end of each week. Anything not in a sealed container is ‘fair game’
- Do a visual check. If it’s not looking right then bin it!
- Check use-by dates on milk & condiments regularly
- Ensure spills are wiped up as they occur or if not, make sure it’s done by the cleaning team at the end of the week
- Use a vinegar & water mix (in equal parts) as an effective, non-chemical cleaning solution that will also deodorise surfaces
- Bi-Carb Soda is also a very effective cleaning & deodorising product
- Providing employees with a safe, clean & hygienic workplace is a component of an employers ‘Duty of Care’ so the last thing you want is
Duticall can assist you to keep your staff facilities in great shape. Just contact us and we will be happy to provide you with an obligation free quote.