24 May, 2022

The Office Kitchen Germ Hotspots that Demand Your Attention Now

The average office kitchen is a high traffic area where food and drink will be prepared. It’s also a complex area with cutlery, food prep area, kettle, crockery, cups, plates and all the usual kitchenware.

All provide fertile ground for bacteria.

Even before the pandemic, a clean kitchen was essential for a healthy workforce. That’s even more important now, both for physical well being and psychological.

Which is why we analysed the average office kitchen to identify germ hotspots. Those areas where bacteria and viruses can congregate, multiply and pose risk to staff.

If your office cleaner isn’t giving these areas very special attention, they really should!

The kettle

As you would imagine, the average office kettle in a British workplace sees a lot of action.

If you don’t have a coffee machine or cafeteria, the kettle will see a lot of hands. Which means it’s essential to keep it clean. Hygienically clean.

To clean a kettle property, empty it of water regularly, wipe down the exterior often with hot water and use antibacterial solution on the handle.

Cups and mugs

Cups and mugs are office kitchen germ hotspots for a similar reason to the kettle.

It would be better if staff brought their own mugs and used that and none of the others. But, if mugs are shared, they should be placed in the dishwasher after each use.

If the office doesn’t have a dishwasher, wash them up in hot, not warm, hot soapy water and rinse with more hot water. Allow to dry and put them away in the cupboard.

You can use an antibacterial solution or wipe for cups and mugs but only if it is food safe and can be rinsed off.

While food safe is great, we don’t want anything to interfere with the taste.

Office refrigerator

The office refrigerator is another germ hotspot thanks to it being another high traffic area.

Despite the entire purpose of a refrigerator being to slow down bacteria growth, without proper cleaning, it can be a haven for them.

Office cleaning should include checking all food and drink in the refrigerator to ensure everything is within date.

If you let staff store their groceries in the fridge, make sure they keep everything within packets and within a bag, to help prevent cross contamination.

Use a refrigerator with a temperature sensor and monitor it daily. Use a stick on thermometer if it doesn’t have a sensor.

This will help ensure the fridge is cold enough to prevent food spoiling and dangerous bacteria growing.

Clean all shelves, remove old food and drinks, keep an eye on milk if you provide it and educate staff on ‘proper fridge use’.

Wipe down the interior of the fridge with warm soapy water, rinse and wipe with food safe antibacterial solution.

Pay special attention to door pockets where milk and drinks are often stored and the door handle.

If you can wipe down the door multiple times per day, do that.

Water cooler

If your office kitchen has a water cooler or filter, that is a common source of bacteria.

It’s another high traffic area with lots of activity and can be a haven for viruses and bacteria.

Even if the cooler itself uses UV to help keep water clean, the area around it can be busy.

People standing around chatting, touching walls, leaning against counters, touching the dispenser and the cups can all spread germs.

Change the water regularly and wipe down the outside of the water cooler, especially the dispenser with food safe antibacterial solution.

Also wipe down any areas you notice staff congregate, touch or lean on, just to make sure.

The average office kitchen can look and smell perfectly clean but without the proper processes in place, can be a haven for bacteria.

Cleanliness isn’t just about COVID, it’s about the general health and wellbeing of the workforce. Which is why it’s so important to get right!

Content provided by Swift Cleaning.


Debora Franks

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