Every person in your office shares the office fridge and it doesn’t take long for it to get dirty. A dirty fridge is not only a hazard to your health, but can be off-putting if you’re expecting guests or clients to be in your breakroom. Use the following tips to keep your office fridge clean so your kitchen area will stay presentable.
Practice General Housekeeping
Always make sure the fridge door is tightly closed because if it’s open even a little bit, air will get in and spoil the food inside. Try to avoid using solvent cleaning agents when you clean the fridge, as they might leave a chemical taste in the food.
If you have a bad odor coming from the fridge, place an open box of baking soda inside. The baking soda neutralizes and deodorizes the interior, removing any unpleasant odors. If you spill something in the fridge, clean it up quickly using warm, soapy water so bacteria doesn’t have a chance to develop.
If you want to keep the food in your fridge from going bad, make sure the temperature stays below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacteria growth increases rapidly in areas that have a temperature higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is a good idea to keep the fridge temperature low.
Always check to make sure that your office fridge is set at the right temperature, and make the proper adjustments if it’s too high. Keep your coworkers informed so they are not tempted to change the temperature in the fridge. If you have to, leave a note to make sure that no one messes with the temperature settings.
Discard Old Food
One of the prime reasons why office refrigerators get dirty is because the food is not tossed out when it goes bad. When out-of-date food is left unattended for too long, it promotes the growth of bacteria in the fridge, and it could spread to the food that has not spoiled yet. Rotten food leaves behind an unbearable odor, and it also transforms the fridge into a health risk for you and your coworkers.
Always check the expiration dates on the food in the fridge to make sure everything is still good to eat. If something looks off or has a weird smell, make sure you discard it as quickly as possible. Mold tends to grow around food that has spoiled, so if you see any mold you should toss the food immediately.
Set up a Cleaning Schedule
Generally, your fridge should be cleaned at least once a week, particularly close to the end of the workweek. Having a regular schedule in place will allow you to frequently check the fridge so any problematic items can be removed before everyone leaves for the weekend.
Have everyone in the office pitch in to keep the fridge clean, since just about every person who works in an office space uses it. Designate who will clean the fridge one week, and schedule someone else to do it for each of the following weeks.