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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!

sunnywindysunday Thu 09-May-13 19:36:12

Keep your milk away from her. She might 'get you back'. I don't put anything past people anymore.

happyyonisleepyyoni Thu 09-May-13 16:08:40

Well done op what a silly cow. I used to store my pump and bottle in the fridge at work, sealed inside a plastic box and then inside a bag. noone would have known what was in there unles they went looking and no-one complained in 3 months of expressing.

you wouldnt feed it to your baby if there was anything infectious in it (like HIV!)

scarletforya Thu 09-May-13 11:28:30

Grrr angry Words fail me at the bizarre things people do. She sounds as though she has 'issues'. Well done OP. I would have found it difficult not to lose my temper with someone so nasty.

staffroomwars Thu 09-May-13 10:37:46

Didn't get much response, just silence really and averted eyes with a mumbled ok. Tbf it wasn't in the discussion format, just calmly stated I didn't expect it to happen to me, or any item owned by anyone else in the fridge again whether it was BM or a bulky lunch. It's not your property to make decisions over and I will in future consider it the same as wilful damage/ theft of any other item (we also do have people being inconsiderate generally with fridge stuff, eating butter etc without buying or squashing/ moving).

KatieLily12 Thu 09-May-13 09:57:14

Intrigued to know how it was received. Hopefully this is the end of such silly behaviour. Expressing is rotten enough without having to see it go to waste!

scarletforya Thu 09-May-13 09:53:41

Thanks OP. Did she apologise for ruining the bm? Did she explain? She had no business vandalising your property (the bm)

Did she understand the baby would miss out because of her barmy actions. Does she 'get' that it was babyfood she destroyed?

You seem to have been very restrained under the circumstances!

staffroomwars Thu 09-May-13 09:33:16

Thought I'd update.

Had a staff meeting in plain english about it and a one to one chat.

Bought fridge for first aid bits and BM (cool packs only as as yet we have no medications to keep cold) and it does save traipsing to the staffroom freezer every time a head is banged and leaving the office empty.

piprabbit Thu 09-May-13 02:56:03

If it happens again, after making it clear to everyone that it is BM, not dangerous and it must stay in the fridge, then I would assume it was bullying and follow that procedure for dealing with the culprit.

Damash12 Thu 09-May-13 02:44:09

Get your company to provide a fridge (which I'm sure you know they have to provide somewhere for your milk) alternatively you could purchase one of those small mini fridges which holds about 6 cans of beer.
However, I would also send a mail or raise the subject and sack oops sorry chat with the person who took it out the fridge.

HerrenaHarridan Wed 08-May-13 23:08:17

Yanbu, I would hit the fucking roof!

It take it they have no idea how much effort expressing takes!

If some numptybollocks has an issue they can use a different fridge!

ShadowStorm Wed 08-May-13 22:55:27


And a fridge that's used to store cleaning chemicals is totally unsuitable for putting breastmilk, or any other food / drink in.

KitKatShoes Wed 08-May-13 22:11:39

It is milk not piss ffs. yanbu

CSIJanner Wed 08-May-13 22:08:28

As a fellow pumper, I would be bloody furious!

Talk to her over a special cup of tea grin

Then get yourself a upright cooler lunch bag to keep your milk in, in the fridge. Talk to HR, who will advise work that they need to do a risk assessment for you for pumping plus to v plausible threat of other people mucking about with your babies food.

louisianablue2000 Wed 08-May-13 20:09:10

The concern about blood born viruses (BBVs) is a bit of a red herring since if the OP had any I doubt she'd be breastfeeding. If the milk is in a double sealed container then she is following the regulations for the transport of biological material and so there is no risk to anyone else.

You have to go via HR/line management to deal with this, if you try and deal with it yourself I'd be worried that she'd accuse you of bullying. You have to be seen to be doing the right thing. HR needs to deal with it as a matter of urgency though and let her know she is tampering with a babies food, not just something she finds disgusting. Maybe some re-education of the staff is required as to the benefits of BFing, do you have a SHE manager who would be willing to have an awareness event?

FWIW BM is actually OK at room temperature for several hours because it is alive, all the good stuff in it (macrophages, antibodies etc) stop bacteria growing in it (kellymom has information on storage times, they are much longer than you think). Not that you should tell the insane colleague that!

Weasleyismyking Wed 08-May-13 18:48:30

I can't imagine handling someone else's food in my work communal fridge other than to move it a little to fit mine in as well!
Who on earth do they think they are?!
In fact, is it theft? By removing it from the fridge they're making it useless so permanently depriving you/your baby of their lunch.
I think HR boss should send an email round worded like katielilys post.

KatieLily12 Wed 08-May-13 18:47:44

This might be helpful OP- particularly the part on discrimination. Maternity Action are brilliant and can help you if you get in contact

PlasticLentilWeaver Wed 08-May-13 18:37:39

birdsgottafly there is NO legal obligation on employers to provide a fridge for BM storage, only HSE guidance on best practice. Therefore there is nothing to force an employer to provide a separate fridge from food storage. As for HIV etc, how exactly do you expect it to be transmitted from a sealed bottle inside a sealed bag? I'm pretty sure if that was considered a risk, the HSE would specify that storage had to be away from food.

KatieLily12 Wed 08-May-13 17:24:28

I apologise for autocorrect fail- gah!!!

Birdsgottafly Wed 08-May-13 17:23:21

If an employee needs to keep their medication in a fridge at work, they should be going via HR, not just putting it in the fridge, as usually the temperature should be kept consistent and a fridge used by everyone is subject to a lot of opening and being left open etc. This has been the norm for years in Statutory settings, such as schools.

Jacaqueen Wed 08-May-13 17:18:10

My point being that I think your work should supply a fridge at the very least.

You also had to pass several vending machines on the way to this oasis. No wonder I fed DS for 18 months!

Jacaqueen Wed 08-May-13 17:15:29

When I announced my pregnancy at work my boss showed me a lockable room with two reclining chairs, a water cooler, sink and a lockable fridge. This was the feeding/expressing room. It could also be used by pregnant women if they needed a rest.

This was the Inland Revenue 15 years ago.

Birdsgottafly Wed 08-May-13 17:11:14

Gin, this isn't about one person's rights being more than another's, this is about the work place getting it right, two fridge's should be provided. It is a standard rule and will be documented somewhere, detaining what can be stored in the employee's fridge, body fluids are not allowed.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Wed 08-May-13 17:10:05

I would hit the roof. This isn't a joke, it's bullying, plain and simple and there is legislation in place to protect you. Go as high as you can and give this woman hell.
I imagine it's hard enough going back to work, let alone having someone tampering with your new baby's food.
What has your manager said?
I'd also like you to consider what would have happened if this had been someone's medication. Would she have removed it from the fridge? What would the consequences have been then? Essentially, it's the same kind of thing.

Birdsgottafly Wed 08-May-13 17:01:34

Just to add, this issue should have been part of your "return to work plan". It is your organisation that is behind on this, there has been new policies for everyone, since the Equality Act.

Birdsgottafly Wed 08-May-13 17:01:29

Just to add, this issue should have been part of your "return to work plan". It is your organisation that is behind on this, there has been new policies for everyone, since the Equality Act.

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