Before your holiday vacation, remember to clean the office fridge

December 20, 2017

Of course you clean your fridge — who doesn’t? You regularly wipe down surfaces and throw out old food. But what about the office fridge?

It’s easy to neglect the office fridge. It doesn’t really belong to anybody, so who should be responsible for cleaning it? But the office fridge is just as likely to harbor pathogenic bacteria as the one you have in your own kitchen, so just as everyone shares food storage space in the fridge, everyone in the office should share cleaning duties, as well.

Here are some tips:

  • Set up a cleaning schedule for officemates to take turns cleaning surfaces thoroughly with hot, soapy water. A full-fledged cleaning bonanza doesn’t have to be done too often, but someone should wipe down all surfaces to remove spills and crumbs weekly.
  • Bacteria grow most rapidly between 40°F and 140°F, so you want to make sure the internal temperature of your office’s fridge is safely below that range.
  • While you’re at it, make sure the freezer is actually below freezing (0°F).
  • Toss out perishables every week. Leftovers shouldn’t be stored for more than 2–3 days. offers a useful chart on how long certain foods should can be stored in the fridge and the freezer.
  • Place an opened box of baking soda in the fridge to eliminate odors.
  • Avoid using solvent cleaning agents, abrasives, and any cleansers that might add a chemical taste to food.
  • Check the storage directions and expiration dates on labels. Should something be refrigerated after opening? Best to find out.
  • Be on the lookout for food spoilage. The signs are smells, a strange appearance and mold. Mold generally isn’t a safety threat — but it is gross!



Category: Food Safety, Healthcare, Public Health, Pathogens, Sanitation & Hygiene