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cdog7

Shared Dishes And Cc Risks

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Ok, so the problem comes down to: My office mates are kind of slobs. I think some of them take great pride in that! We share a set of metal utensils, coffee mugs, glasses and a set of ceramic plates/bowls in our kitchen, because that's supposed to be much more 'green' than using disposables. Every day, a huge pile of barely-rinsed (sometimes not rinsed) utensils and plates etc. all get washed in a dishwasher. The next day it's all put away in cabinets and used again.

Question: Are any of these things safe for me to be using? Because I have been, although I've also had too many mysterious reactions lately where I never knew the culprit. Now I'm starting to suspect I've been crediting our dishwasher with some kind of magic it doesn't really have.

I know that with 'proper usage', dishwasher-washed stuff should be safe. But lately I see plates that literally still have noodles caked onto them just stuffed in the dishwasher, forks with who-knows-what all over them, etc. and frankly it's kind of terrifying. But the stuff looks like it's clean when it's put away.

We just recently instituted a new 'kitchen cleaning plan' where everyone in the office will get a week assigned to do the kitchen cleaning, because without such a plan, it always fell to the exact same two females, and that was depressing and wrong (and really not what they're paid for). So in that sense I am happy about this new plan (and I will wear gloves when it's my week). However, as I mentioned, some of the people here just really don't care and kind of suck at cleaning. They all sort-of know I'm celiac and can't eat gluten, but very few get what that really means, or retain any memory of it once shared. Once a coworker told me he heard that celiac can be cured with some kind of colored light therapy, I'm not even making this up. But this not like talking to friends or family, as I have to worry about staying professional and on everyone's good side here in addition to keeping my health safe.

Just wondering - am I getting spooked over nothing (and dishwashers really are magic), or should I probably start hand-washing everything before I use it, too? Or should I do something else entirely? (Besides find a new job, easier said than done these days!)

Your input is greatly appreciated!

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In a normal home, it should be OK. In this circumstance, I would bring my own and take them home in a plastic bag at night to wash.

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I was in an office with a similar circumstance. I always brought my own food, but did have a few problems from using the kitchen, so eventually I didn't touch a thing in it. I brought my food in glass containers, used a paper towel to open and close the microwave and washed my dishes at home. I also had a set of silverware and a sharp knife I kept in my desk drawer to use in case I forgot something. And if I wanted to rinse a utensil because it was sticky or if I wanted to re-use the same day I either used the hot water from the water cooler on a paper towel or I used the bathroom sink - assuming your office bathroom sink gets cleaned more regularly than the kitchen - this may not be true.

At first I felt like a hypochondriac, but I never ended up with a swelly belly after I started using extra care.

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I think I may start doing something similar! At least try it out and see if I have fewer 'swelly bellies'. It's a pain, but so is gluten!

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I bring all my own plates, utensils in my lunch bag. Our workplace kitchen is possibly cleaner than a toxic waste dump but not by much. My coworkers routinely leave crumbs everywhere and dont seem to care in the least that I am celiac. Or dont remember.

If I was going to use anything in the workplace kitchen I would wash it first not just because it might not be cleaned properly but also because someone might have touched it with their gluteny hands and then put it back. I used to leave my own stuff in a drawer in the kitchen til I found someone using my stuff - so now I bring everything in from home.

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Our kitchen is disgusting. I wish we had a dishwasher. People just leave their coffee cups and plates for... a magic kitchen fairy? I keep my food in the fridge and sometimes microwave my lunch (with the tupperware lid on, but loosened) but otherwise stay away. I'm tempted to start using one of those nice new soft-sided insulated bags if that'd keep my lunch cool through the morning to not have to go in there hardly at all! So... I would bring my own stuff, since folks are not only disrespectful of you and your needs but generally of the shared space (food still stuck to the plate? come on, how hard is it to scrape off? that's not good for the dishwasher, either). And I guess maybe some long-sleeved gloves if you're on the kitchen cleanup rotation!

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I can barely stop myself from sending out a vaguely threatening email about hunting down the culprit, but I won't. I will not. It's hard but I won't do it. The magic kitchen fairy wants revenge so bad, though! ("magic kitchen fairy" made me LOL)

But I'm restraining myself for now, and for as long as I can.. I'll just take a lot more protective measures from now on.

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I can barely stop myself from sending out a vaguely threatening email about hunting down the culprit, but I won't. I will not. It's hard but I won't do it. The magic kitchen fairy wants revenge so bad, though! ("magic kitchen fairy" made me LOL)

But I'm restraining myself for now, and for as long as I can.. I'll just take a lot more protective measures from now on.

The problem is I think some people just have poor habits or manners. Or, to give some credit, maybe their dishwashers at home are great and they're able to leave food caked on and have everything come out sparkling clean.

There may come a point when an email or flyer is appropriate - and it could be written in a way that highlights the issues of hygiene and sanitation in a shared kitchen (and bugs!) as well as the fact that food intolerances are pretty common. It may be that there are folks with MSG, dairy, and other non-allergy food issues (I assume anyone with a highly reactive allergy would have to bring their own everything nearly everywhere) that would all benefit from more attention to cleanliness, and you could frame it so that you could fold your own food needs in with a broader concern for everyone's well-being. Of course, not having to clean up someone else's gross food messes is also very much a part of everyone's well-being, and maybe that should be stated clearly too, if it comes to it!

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I absolutely would not trust these people with my health... they do not sound very diligent. Invest in either your own set of utensils or plasticware.

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Our kitchen is disgusting. I wish we had a dishwasher. People just leave their coffee cups and plates for... a magic kitchen fairy? I keep my food in the fridge and sometimes microwave my lunch (with the tupperware lid on, but loosened) but otherwise stay away. I'm tempted to start using one of those nice new soft-sided insulated bags if that'd keep my lunch cool through the morning to not have to go in there hardly at all! So... I would bring my own stuff, since folks are not only disrespectful of you and your needs but generally of the shared space (food still stuck to the plate? come on, how hard is it to scrape off? that's not good for the dishwasher, either). And I guess maybe some long-sleeved gloves if you're on the kitchen cleanup rotation!

hahaha we actually have a sign that says "there are no fairies in this kitchen!". Our kitchen is mostly ok, every now and again the dishes pile up but the majority of us are militant about keeping it clean. I wash my bowl, plate and cutlery after use and then keep in my office and I have my own dish brush and use paper towel. Never have any problems. I share an office with one person and she's super considerate. Crumbs in the main kitchen freak me out a bit, but I prepare my lunch near the sink and the toaster is on a separate table on the opposite side of the room, and I have the top shelf in the fridge. My situation is actually pretty awesome...

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In a normal home, it should be OK. In this circumstance, I would bring my own and take them home in a plastic bag at night to wash.

I would do the same unless I were able to wash them there in the sink and then keep them in my desk. But really, I would probably just bring lidded containers from home and take them back home.

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