Working in an office food safety may not always be top of mind. But, if you share a refrigerator or meal prep space with colleagues, you may wish to think about it from time to time. From spills on the counter to forgotten about yogurts in the fridge, dangers can lurk in office break rooms. But never fear, we’ve rounded up some of our best tips to keep your office food areas germ-free.
How to keep the office food area clean
1. Ask everyone to do their part
Having an office breakroom and food prep areas including a coffee bar is an employee perk but also a privilege. It’s okay to kindly remind your team to take care of this area. No one wants to stock coffee on a dirty counter or cook their lunch in a microwave that is filthy. Remind employees to wipe spills when they happen - and provide cleaning products and paper towels to do so.
2. Use food labels
To keep things fresh and clean, ask employees to label food in shared areas with their names and the date. This way it is easier to clean out things that are past their prime. Remember to ask (or tell) the owner before throwing away anyone else’s food.
3. Put someone in charge of cleaning each evening
Whether it’s one person like an office manager’s job or a shared responsibility, make sure you know who will own the enforcement of keeping this area clean. Accidents and spills can happen without people noticing. So having someone wipe down all shared surfaces each day and ensure all coffee makers and toaster ovens are turned off and cool is a great way to keep things clean and safe in your food area.
4. Hire a pro
If you want to ensure that your food area is kept sparkling and germ-free, bring in a professional cleaning service to do a deep clean regularly. While you want to clean frequently touched surfaces more often to prevent the spread of germs, having the food area deep cleaned weekly or bi-weekly should suffice depending on the size of the area and the number of people who pass through it.
Remember to keep all cleaning supplies well labeled and away from food and drink. Read the directions on any cleaning products and ensure they are used properly to avoid making people sick.