Three colleagues discussing during lunch time in kitchen business office

Having an in-house kitchen where employees can cook, store their food or eat their lunches is an expected perk in most workplaces, but they can come with cleaning issues, according to an article on the Chicago Now website. There are some basic must-do’s to keep office kitchens clean — and some pretty gross consequences if they’re not followed.

Not surprisingly, putting a sign on the cabinet in the office kitchen that says, ‘We're not your mom, clean up after yourself,' doesn’t work. The people who are leaving the mess aren’t the ones that are likely to take the hint.

These steps are a better bet:

• Set a scheduled "fridge clean out" day and toss anything that's in the refrigerator. Make sure you post about the clean out and remind everyone that day to ensure you're not throwing away anyone's lunch for the day.

• Create a cleaning schedule: In addition to the office custodial staff, give the employees accountability by creating a schedule that puts a different person in charge of cleaning up the kitchen every day or week.

So what happens if these issues aren’t handled? Just like at home, a messy kitchen will attract pests. Ants love spilled sugar or soda and roaches will eat just about anything.  These crawlies aren’t just disgusting, ant bites can be dangerous to those who are allergic to insect stings, and roaches can make employees sick.

Keeping your office kitchen clean can reduce the number of pests in your office. But if  employee efforts don’t get rid of them, it may be time to call a pest control professional.

Read the full article here.