Reminder: Food and Drink in Laboratories

January 25, 2024

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to review the following key points to help prevent contamination of food and beverages.

  • Food and beverages are NOT allowed to be stored or consumed in laboratories or other rooms that use or store hazardous materials (e.g., hazardous chemicals, biological hazards, unsealed radioactive materials, research animals, and/or human blood or tissues). 
  • Whenever feasible, break rooms or separate office space(s) should be made available for food and beverage consumption.
  • Protect Clean Areas from contamination: Consistent with building, departmental, or other local rules, Principal Investigators (PIs) may designate “clean areas” to limit potential contamination of food and beverages consumed.
  • To support researchers’ health and safety, EH&S will conduct periodic reviews of these “clean areas” to ensure hazards are managed appropriately.

Lab Inspections

EH&S will be evaluating the use of spaces designated as “clean areas”. Be prepared to discuss this topic with EH&S lab safety specialists during the upcoming inspection cycle.

If you have questions regarding food and drinks in labs or wish to discuss a “clean area”, please contact or refer to the Campus policy on food in laboratories.