Computer keyboards, copy machines, doorknobs, and restrooms are not the only areas of the office or commercial workplace that harbor bacteria. The office kitchen/break room can be home to a variety of germs, mold, and just plain mess. A set of office kitchen rules, as well as clearly stated workplace kitchen etiquette, can keep the germs at bay and the clutter under control. As commercial cleaning experts, we have some ideas for keeping your workplace kitchen clean.
Workplace Kitchen Rules: The Golden Rule
Your mother doesn’t work here. Neither do kitchen fairies. If you use the office kitchen, it is your responsibility to return it to its original condition when you are done.
The ‘Golden Rule’ for using the office kitchen is: if you make a mess, clean the mess.
- Wash and dry your own dishes after using them
- Never put uneaten food down the drain; scrape into the trash
- Reseal any uneaten food; store neatly in a cabinet or refrigerate as needed
- Never leave open food on the counter as it can attract bugs
- Wipe up all spills immediately
- Always cover food heating in the microwave to avoid splatters
- If something splatters in the microwave, clean it immediately
- Any spills on the floor need to be cleaned immediately to avoid a slip and fall incident.
Office Refrigerator Rules
The office refrigerator is there to keep lunches (and dinners) chilled properly to protect against food-borne illness. The internal temperature of the refrigerator should be 40-degrees Fahrenheit or colder – the same as your home refrigerator. The freezer temperature should be at 0-degrees Fahrenheit.
Kitchen rules should include specifics regarding the office refrigerator.
- Avoid leaving food in the refrigerator for more than 48 hours
- Wipe spills immediately
- Remove rotting/spoiled food immediately
It’s always a good idea to label your lunch or dinner containers to avoid any confusion as to which items belong to which person, especially if you have food allergies. If the refrigerator is crowded, never cram or shove other people’s food to make room for yours. This action not only will annoy your coworkers but can cause containers to overturn, spill, and make a mess.
Office Kitchen Etiquette
A little common sense and courtesy goes a long way at the office. Follow a few simple workplace kitchen etiquette tips to help keep the office kitchen clean and keep the peace among your coworkers. When you use the last of something, always replace it – from napkins to stir sticks and plastic utensils. Don’t know where the supply closet is? Ask. Don’t overstuff the trash bin. If it’s full, bag it up or contact the office manager who in turn can alert the janitorial staff.
Employees and staff who can keep the daily clutter and mess to a minimum in the office kitchen help lower the risk of spreading germs.
If it’s included in your contract, your commercial cleaning or janitorial staff will clean the kitchen or breakroom as part of their cleaning services, including emptying the trash, mopping the floor, wiping down the counters, etc. It’s also a good idea to schedule refrigerator cleaning on a regular basis, to prevent the growth of science experiments.
ServiceMaster PBM offers commercial, industrial, and office cleaning services throughout the greater Baltimore area. We can provide daily, weekly or monthly cleaning not only for your office kitchen or break room but for any area within your office space or commercial facility. Call us today at (410) 618-4527 today to schedule a free estimate for all of your commercial cleaning services.