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To store expressed milk in a shared fridge

(84 Posts)
staffroomwars Wed 08-May-13 13:57:17

Posting as a little murderous and possibly need perspective.

Just gone back to work for a few days a week (wishing I hadn't but...£) and dd is a total bottle/ formula refuser despite me nearly killing myself trying I'm having to express/ pop out for feeds.

Yesterday and Monday all the expressed milk ended up on the side and off when I went to get it at the end of the day. As it's in an opaque plastic bag I presumed it was a mistake. I just found my lunch time expressed milk which I was about to pass on again on the window sil and have been informed someone has put it there as 'it's disgusting storing bodily fluids in a fridge with food'. She would have had to open the bag to see it was a baby bottle!

Is this one weirdo view or do people really feel like this, others were quite neutral but may have been reluctant to get involved and questioned if I could use the other fridge (used for non-food) to avoid upset.

I'm in a senior position and could get another fridge but it seemed a waste of funds!

5madthings Wed 08-May-13 14:08:42

Oh I also wouldn't store bmilk in a fridge with chemicals either!

Yanbu op your work colleague is, I as, furious on your behalf!

MortifiedAdams Wed 08-May-13 14:10:43

Could you stick a passive aggressive note on the fridge, "It appears that dairy products are not permitted in the fridge. Any yoghurts, cheese, milk (cow or human) found will be removed"

MrsHuxtable Wed 08-May-13 14:11:15

When you say you are senior, how senior is the person complaining about the milk?

That would determine how you broach the issue.

If junior: Just lay the law down.
equal: either you explain to them that you have the right to store your milk in the fridge and will do so. Removing it again will result in you contacting HR
more senior: go through HR

LadyBeagleEyes Wed 08-May-13 14:12:40

Another interesting first post.

staffroomwars Wed 08-May-13 14:15:50

I think we all guessed this isn't a first.

She's junior. Feeling more balanced now! The consensus was quite non-committal

PlasticLentilWeaver Wed 08-May-13 14:18:49

HSE recommend, note not compulsory, that you are provided with somewhere to store your milk. I don't think there is anything to cover whether it has to be separate from everyone else's lunch though.
My work provided a separate fridge in the first aid room, which was made available to me.

Definitely one for HR if there is nowhere else to store it, as it can be classed as discrimination, I believe.

Katienana Wed 08-May-13 14:19:21

Squirt her in the face directly from your nip. That'll learn her!

MrsHuxtable Wed 08-May-13 14:20:38

Junior? I don't know why but that would piss me off even more.

I'd take her aside and politely explain to her that you have every right to store your milk where you did and that you will continue to do so in the future. Removing it again will result in you taking further measures.

Then you also send around a friendly email, bringing up the issue of expressing milk and storing it in general. All women at your work have the right to do so and should feel free to use said right.

Bricklestick Wed 08-May-13 14:20:53

I'd speak to HR, personally.

staffroomwars Wed 08-May-13 14:23:33

Katieana...that was one of the ideas I've considered.

MrsHuxtable..earlier I was all ready for 'further measures' but then I thought what exactly?

She's just a difficult type and it''s probably more spite than a genuine issue as particularly since a round of internal interviews she's really been pushing and pushing.

I'll speak to her later then put the BM in the milk carton-

bordellosboheme Wed 08-May-13 14:23:53

Yadnbu they are... You are giving a baby life fgs.... You would have a case for discrimination here. What do they think cows milk is? There are laws.... Can you go straight to your union, boss etc... Are they willing to getbyoumyour own fridge..l I would be beyond murderous too!

staffroomwars Wed 08-May-13 14:27:01

I could get a fridge it's just we have other very pressing and important needs for the money (it's a cash strapped school) and I'd rather people were sensible than fork out on a fridge that may only be used for a few month.

RainbowsFriend Wed 08-May-13 14:31:38

When I expressed (also in a school) my milk went in the freezer bit of the communal fridge as some people were "squeamish" about seeing it... at least that way it was out of sight!

squeakytoy Wed 08-May-13 14:32:40


If a staff member went shopping in her lunch break and put her lamb chops in the fridge for the afternoon, would people be complaining that the fridge contained body parts????

DameFanny Wed 08-May-13 14:36:45

People who are "squeamish" about breastmilk should be drowned in a vast of the stuff.

DameFanny Wed 08-May-13 14:37:03

*vat, even

KatieLily12 Wed 08-May-13 14:43:48

This is actually illegal behaviour in the workplace. You are protected by law and should not have someone taking milk for your baby out of he fridge.
Talk I management and maybe get a lunch pack cool bag to put it in?

RainbowsFriend Wed 08-May-13 14:43:56

grin Yes it's ridiculous!

EasilyBored Wed 08-May-13 14:46:52

How about putting it in a cool bag, in the fridge, with a nice big sign saying 'please stop moving my breastmilk, it's a pain the boobs to pump it and if you do it again you had better never ask me to make you a cup of tea you weirdo' wink

But yeah, she's odd. It's milk FFS. I wouldn't care if it was in the fridge.

SneakyBiscuitEater Wed 08-May-13 14:54:05

Pregnancy and lactation are both considered 'protected characteristics' along with disability, ethnicity etc so you can not be treated unfavourably as that would be discrimination.

You have every right to express at work and it would be a poor employer who didn't find a solution to storing your milk. Your milk is a foodstuff and should never be stored in a fridge for chemicals.

A communal lunch fridge is the perfect place to store foodstuffs for later consumption eg breastmilk. I'd put it right at the back so it wouldn't be affected by temp changes associated with frequent door openings.

An email needs to be sent by someone more senior than you (line manager?) or from HR with a pointer to any equality type hr documents you may have that are relevant. I think the key thing is to not get involved in a personal tit for tat email volley with the cock end junior staff member.

You are correct, you are protected by legislation, you currently have the moral high ground which will be lost if you dump the offender's sandwiches I think you need to stick up for yourself on this otherwise any future expressers who don't have the luxury of a lockable office and funds for a fridge will have been sent a message that it is gross and needs to be hidden away (expressing in the loo anyone?)

Good luck staffroom

ENormaSnob Wed 08-May-13 14:59:13

I would hit the roof and make her life a fucking misery and take it as far as possible.

CMOTDibbler Wed 08-May-13 15:02:23

I expressed for a year at work, and kept my milk in the communal fridge inside a black opaque wash bag.

After an incident on the last day before Christmas when facilities cleaned the fridge out while I was on the phone to a customer (tbf, this clean out is well publicises) and I had a hilarious 'what have you done with my milk. Yes, I mean my milk' conversation, everyone knew what it was.
And the 100 odd blokes who worked on the shop floor didn't bat an eyelid.

Your colleague is being a very deliberate PITA - if she had a genuine issue about it, she could have spoken with you about it

KatieLily12 Wed 08-May-13 15:05:08

I think sneakybiscuit worded it correctly- sorry, was consoling baby who has been woken mid nap by neighbours for the 3rd time in a row!

I'm confused why she handled it if she thought it was disgusting? I love illogical people, they make our lives so fun.

I think a little sharing of current legislation around breast feeding and the work place would be helpful. Working in a school, there's usually tons of women and undoubtedly others who will need to express in the future. If the school's anything like the last one I was in, there's always someone pregnant!

starfishmummy Wed 08-May-13 15:12:49

I think getting another fridge for your office is best.
You shouldn't have to but could you ever be sure that the milk hasn't been tampered with by this person? Or that she has't removed it to somewhere warm and then some well meaning person puts it back?

LittleMissGerardButlerfan Wed 08-May-13 15:14:25

Why don't you say to her she is free to buy herself a fridge to store her sandwiches in! That way she wouldn't have to worry about anyone contaminating her lunch silly cow grin

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