Food and Beverages in Labs

The potential for chemical or biological exposure is greatly increased when food and drink are stored or consumed in biology and chemistry labs.  For the protection of students, faculty, and staff, the following guidance is provided and must be followed:

  1. Laboratory refrigerators, ice chests, and cold rooms must not be used for food or beverage storage other than that material being used as a part of ongoing research.  Any food or beverage stored there as part of ongoing research shall be clearly labeled as such.  Labeling shall also include the date and name of the person performing the research.
  2. Food and drink other than that previously discussed are prohibited from being prepared or consumed in laboratories using chemicals, biological agents, or radioactive materials.
  3. Eating, drinking, smoking, applying cosmetics and handling contact lenses are prohibited in work areas in which potentially infectious materials and/or hazardous chemicals are being manipulated.
  4. Empty food and/or beverage containers must not be used to store any materials in the labs.

Exception

Wine-sensory activities may take place in the lab/classroom of the Fruit Processing Education Building on the campus of the Fruit Experiment Station after effectively storing away all hazardous and potentially infectious materials and appropriately cleaning the countertops.  Consumable materials must not be taken into the lab/classroom until these precautionary measures are completed.

Missouri State faculty, staff and students will be expected to comply with the aforementioned regulations.

OSHA regulations on Food & Beverage in Labs

1910.1030(d)(2)(ix)

Eating, drinking, smoking, applying cosmetics or lip balm, and handling contact lenses are prohibited in work areas where there is a reasonable likelihood of occupational exposure.

1910.1030(d)(2)(x)

Food and drink shall not be kept in refrigerators, freezers, shelves, cabinets or on countertops or benchtops where blood or other potentially infectious materials are present.

1910.141(g)(2)

No employee shall be allowed to consume food or beverages ... in any area exposed to a toxic material.