Cleaning the Break Room Refrigerator
The refrigerators in most homes are reasonably clean, but when it comes to the ones in the break rooms in offices the story is very different. It has the potential to cause serious health issues to the employees and is a mistake to avoid having the commercial cleaning company or office janitor cleaning the break room refrigerator outside of typical cleaning.
A study carried out by ConAgra Foods and the American Dietetic Association shows that when 44% of office refrigerators are cleaned once a month, 22% are cleaned only once or twice in a year. This puts employees at the risk of salmonella as well as other types of food poisoning as they often store their lunch/snacks in break-room refrigerators. As the number of days of absence due to sickness per worker increases, the business also takes a hit.
Spending time with co-workers in the office break room and sharing food helps to build team spirit and increase productivity. However, people often forget about the food they keep in the fridge because of their busy schedules at their workplaces. Food items remain in the fridge for weeks and even months at times. Additionally, they are also unable to spare time to clean up the refrigerator or the countertop where they eat their food. This is because they have to divert their attention from the core jobs that have been allotted to them. As a result, office cleaning jobs are contracted out to commercial cleaning companies, yet quite often cleaning the break room refrigerator is left off of the list of items to clean.
The importance of cleaning the office refrigerator can never be overstated as one study showed that it is safer to store your lunch in the restroom than keeping it in the refrigerator in the office break room. Another study found that the handle of the refrigerator is one of the most germ infested places in the office.
Commercial Cleaning Companies & Effective Cleaning the Break Room Refrigerator
#1: They defrost the refrigerator's freezer section as and when the thickness of the frost that has formed is about half an inch. A frost-free fridge is defrosted annually. This is because frost often forms on evaporator covers, reducing its performance and efficiency.
#2: The interiors of the refrigerator are cleaned using a sponge dipped in a solution of baking soda. In order to deodorize the refrigerator, they add some vanilla extract. Depending on the usage pattern, they may leave a box of baking soda open on a shelf inside the refrigerator to control food odors. A box lasts for about two months.
They remove each and every item from the shelves and keep them in appropriate containers. Expired items are disposed of. The shelves and drawers are cleaned by placing them inside a large tub or sink and washing them using hot water as well as an all-purpose sanitizer.
The interior of an office refrigerator is cleaned once in a week on Fridays as offices remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
#3: Once in six months, they clean the outer surface of the condenser coils of the refrigerator using an appropriate vacuum cleaner attachment and a brush with a long handle to remove dust and dirt. This helps to increase its efficiency by 3 to 5 percent and reduce energy charges by around $100 per year.
#4: The exterior of the refrigerator, including the door handle, is cleaned on a daily basis using a mild detergent. Stainless steel doors are cleaned using a commercial stainless steel spray. After cleaning, the all-purpose sanitizer is applied to the exterior, especially the door handle, to make it germ free.