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How toxic is your lunchroom fridge?

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in Office Management

Germ-ridden office refrigerators are no laughing matter.

According to a recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek article, the noxious fumes coming from the refrigerator in one office were so bad, seven employees had to be sent to the hospital and the entire building was evacuated.

Many fridges are so germ-ridden, you might be better off storing your lunch in the bathroom, the article half-jokes.

Compounding the issue: There’s more food in the fridge lately.

Anywhere from one-half to three-quarters of Americans are brown-bagging lunch these days in order to save money. And currently, less than half of all office fridges are cleaned once a month; 22% are cleaned only once or twice a year, says one survey by the American Dietetic Association.

Solution: Take a more aggressive approach to purging the fridge of old, half-eaten foods. Post a sign to announce you’ll be tossing everything out on a designated day. Call in a cleaning service to sanitize the fridge, if the budget allows.

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