Avoid the Office Fridge at All Costs! (Your Lunch Is Safer in the Loo)

Kim Conte
4

office fridgeHere's another one of those gross-out studies that just might make you lose your lunch:

The average office refrigerator is so germ-ridden that it's actually safer to store your lunch in the restroom. (Does this remind you of the equally disgusting study showing there's 400 times the amount of bacteria on your desk than there is on your office toilet? Eeps!)

I'm shuddering at all these toilet references, but actually it makes perfect sense. Think about it: How many times is the shared fridge in your office cleaned per year? I certainly hope it's more than the national average ...

According to a study by American Dietetic Association and Con Agra Foods, 22 percent of office fridges get cleaned only one or two times per year; 44 percent get cleaned monthly.

Think of all those moldy forgotten leftovers!

It's disgusting, sure. But that isn't the real danger of the office fridge. Rather, it's the fact that the mold and yeasts release spores when they break down food and can contaminate other items. Obviously, no one is going to eat that moldy leftover pizza from last month's in-office lunch; but it can contaminate the other non-moldy items sharing the refrigerator shelf.

Vomit.

The worst office fridge offenders? Anything that's wet with high protein and low acid -- so, for example, casseroles, stews, cold cuts, and dairy products.

Maybe this would be an appropriate time to go save my yogurt from the fridge ...

How often is your office fridge cleaned? Are you horrified by what may be growing inside?


Image via Kai Hendry/Flickr

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