Kitchen Use

Updated 7/20/2020

All eating should take place alone inside the office with the door closed, or outside of the building altogether. It is recommended that personnel bring all food items with them each day and store them in a safe place within their office and consume them with disposable utensils or items that they will return home to wash. However, guidance on using communal kitchens is provided below.

General guidelines

  • All mitigation guidelines that apply to labs (regarding, e.g., mask use, occupancy, etc.) also apply for the room housing the kitchen area.
  • Single occupancy use of the kitchen area.
  • Avoid any cross touching of flatware, lunch bags, etc. If cross contamination occurs, either disinfect or dispose of contaminated item/surface.
  • “Hands Free” entrance to kitchen area is preferred.
  • Researchers supply their own food preparation and service items and store these in a secure location outside of the kitchen after use

“Hands Free” filling of water bottles

  • If water is dispensed “Hands Free”, fill bottle taking care to avoid touching any surfaces in the kitchen. If a surface is touched, disinfect.

Preparation of food and other kitchen activities

Procedure of use of microwave, refrigerator, coffee machine, dishwasher, etc.:

  1. Wash/disinfect hands
  2. Don single use gloves, provided in kitchen area and different in color from lab gloves
  3. Proceed with kitchen activities
  4. Wipe down touched surfaces and counter around area used
  5. Doff single use gloves
  6. Wash/disinfect hands

“Hands Free” Operation in the Kitchen

There are several ways to satisfy “hands free” operation of devices or movement of objects.

  • Use of foot, elbow, knee, etc.
  • Use single-use barrier material (e.g. wax paper square, paper towel, kimwipe, etc.) to, e.g., turn handle.
  • Certain items can be left (or propped) open, e.g. cabinet door.
  • Automatic activation, including those with proximity or IR sensor, etc.