When your office shares a refrigerator, things can get pretty hectic. You have to worry about coworkers stealing your food, other coworkers leaving food in the refrigerator for too long and taking up space, limited space in general, and fridges that aren't cleaned often enough. But it doesn't have to be this way when you enforce daily office cleaning standards for your refrigerator.
Set Ground Rules
First, there should be general rules for how to arrange the refrigerator. The warmest part of the fridge is near the door, so items that are the most prone to spoiling should be stored farther in the back, such as milk and eggs.
Limit What Can Be Stored in the Fridge
You may want to set ground rules for what can be stored in the fridge. For instance, you may not want to allow uneaten pizza because the pizza box can take up a large portion of the fridge. The grease on the pizza box can also drip onto the floor of the fridge and create more cleanup responsibilities.
The types of foods that should be stored in an office fridge are those that are already cooked and frozen dinners. If the food hasn't been cooked yet, it can create a public health hazard by spreading E. Coli.
Assign Someone to Clean the Fridge
Someone should be put in charge of disposing of food that has reached the expiration date. If there are any items that should be refrigerated after opening, such as mayo, and they have been sitting out for a long period, they should be disposed of.
If the food looks questionable or there is mold growing on it, throw it away. Anything that has a strange smell should be thrown away.
Don't Let Uneaten Food Sit for Months
Come up with a rule for how long a food item should be stored, especially in the freezer. Even if a food item takes a long time to expire, you do not want something taking up space if the individual who originally purchased it has not gotten around to eating it after a month. Office fridges are not meant to be a place for long-term storage but are only meant as a convenience so that employees do not have to eat out and so those with special diets can be accommodated.
Clean the Fridge Regularly
If there are any spills or obvious signs of uncleanliness, these should be rectified immediately. However, your fridge should also undergo a deep cleaning once every 3-4 months to ensure that it is properly sanitized.