4 Ways To Prevent Mold in the Office Fridge
Preventing Fridge Mold
Maybe your breakroom fridge in Greenlake, WA isn't as bad as the one at an office building in San Jose, CA, where, in 2009, 28 people became sick from fumes of spoiled food and disinfectants. Perhaps your office fridge isn't that bad yet, but you can use this as a cautionary tale to coworkers. Here are four tips on preventing fridge mold at your office:
1. Store food the right way. This sounds straightforward, but the USDA recommends repackaging foods into smaller portions for efficient chilling. This is especially important after-work events where large quantities of food were shared. When deep containers of warm food are placed in the fridge, the center may stay warm long enough for bacteria and mold to grow. Be sure to cover food to help keep moisture in and better maintain the humidity of the fridge environment.
2. Maintain the proper temperature and humidity. Mold can live at temps of 40-100° F, but you can reduce the opportunity for fridge mold by keeping the temperature at 40° F or lower. Buy a thermometer to keep inside of the fridge for easy monitoring and don't keep the doors open for long periods of time.
3. Know when to throw away food. Don't rely on mold smell to motivate you. Food should be removed weekly and never left over the weekend. Food that has sat at greater than 40° F for more than 2 hours is not safe to eat, so throw out all food when the power has been out that long.
4. Use proper cleaning methods. For disinfecting fridge interiors, don't use harsh cleaners that may transfer odors to foods. Frequent cleaning with baking soda and dish soap is all you need. Pay attention to high humidity areas that are at higher risk for fridge mold, like crisper drawers and seals.
Hopefully, you won't need a hazmat team to help your office through disinfecting fridge cleaning, but mold remediation specialists are available to help with any mold problem in your building. With their knowledge and special equipment, they make sure to clean up mold while preventing the further spread of spores.