Happy New Year from the fridge

I’m sure we’ve all been in a workplace where, no matter how committed you and your colleagues might be, the contents of the office fridge just seem to get away from us, one way or another.

At my workplace I cleaned out our fridge six months ago because I was looking to pinch some butter to rescue a stale scone. To my surprise, I ended up finding four out-of-date butter tubs, and a whole lot more, and sent an email to colleagues warning them of the rather minimalist appearance facing them the following Monday morning after my clean out.

With the end of the year upon us, it seemed only right to give the fridge another once-over to see what improvements, if any, had resulted in corporate food hygiene. This is my resulting email, as we say goodbye to 2008 and welcome a healthy, nutritious and Best Before 2009:

Greetings on New Year’s Eve.

Well, I thought it was that time of year again, but I’ve just discovered that my last ‘fridge email’ was only sent in June – not a whole year ago at all! Needless to say, I’m even MORE impressed with the contents of this afternoon’s clean out, so here’s my report:

Oranges. Orange juice is all well and good, but preferably from a bottle and not what’s leaked from the putrefied contents at the bottom of a plastic bag.

Yoghurt. If whoever bought the diet and lite brands of yoghurt applies this theory to their other food, then they must have lost lots of weight … because they haven’t eaten any of them. ‘Best Befores’ included 31 Oct 08, 20 Dec 08, 26 Sep 08, 22 June 08 and … 20 June 08! That was only two weeks after my last clean out!

Butter. Readers of the last email may remember that there were four tubs of butter disposed of. I must have been particularly magnanimous in June, because there’s still one wedged into the corner by a block of ice with an expiry date of 22 Apr 08 … but I couldn’t budge it. In a rather surprising coincidence, there was also one tub with an expiry date of 28 Feb 08 … and another one with 28 Feb 09! Spooky! (The Feb 08 tub was chucked). Don’t fear, there is also a tub not due to expire until June next year, so plenty of butter still to share.

Hummus. The ‘Heavenly Organic’ Hummus was certainly that – long expired, in another world, and full of nutrient goodness – Best Before 8 Sep 08.

Salad stuff. This is complex.
Capsicum – not meant to be eaten soup style. Usually it’s firm and crunchy, not in liquid form.
‘Caris’s Broccoli Salad’ – not much broccoli left, calling it ‘salad’ was a bit of a stretch – Best Before 2 December.
Mung beans – two lots of – and I think the idea is you eat them before they sprout, die, go brown and then slide into a mouldy sludge.
Salad dressing – Paul Newman didn’t just cark it this year, so did a range of his salad dressings: Caesar Best Before Nov 08, plus a French Dressing from Sep 08.

Cheese. There was an almost healthy looking bag of grated cheese with an expiry date of 28 Dec 08. Now, food and nutrition experts and their lawyers could argue for hours on whether it may have lasted another week or two for a toasted sandwich without any botulism outbreak, but the 28th was my birthday, so I threw it out for a birthday present. Stiff cheese.

Miscellaneous. No list is complete without some miscellaneous items, and it just proves I can spell. Whipped cream – where was I? I don’t remember that? Best Before 28 Sep 08. Ham – with a Best Before of 16 Dec 08, this was never going to make it to Christmas, and certainly shouldn’t have made new year!

So was there anything actually in-date? Yes: Tahini and Marmite live to see another year, although Marmite is a yeast product so that’s questionable to begin with. Also butter as noted.

However, the following items are on notice and will need to be removed and/or eaten/thrown away/disposed of at a hazardous waste facility:

Nippy’s iced coffee in the door. I could have sworn it was there six months ago, and I think I left it there because Best Before is 03/05/20___[print has gone]. I’ve given it the benefit of the doubt once, but it’s on borrowed time.

Corn Relish. Yet another mystery. These don’t have Best Before dates. I know that because there was another one in June that I threw out. Maybe there were always two and I just missed it. Whatever.

Goulburn fruit salad. This stuff already looks like the limp version of its firm, fresh and fruity brothers and sisters, but this is looking limper than it should and I don’t think any injection is going to fix it. I may be wrong.

FINALLY – there are four plastic containers, two of which are rather nice ones, which contain long-gone leftovers. I can’t think of any other way to describe them. It would be such a shame to throw the containers out, or for their owners to lose them by someone else commandeering them for herself seeing she lost a perfectly good Tupperware container once just because she didn’t remove it before Fran cleaned the fridge and it really pissed her off – sorry, where was I? Anyway, if they’re your containers, please remove.

My suggestion for the next clean-out is to ‘harvest’ the contents, take them over to Product Development, do a bit of judicious experimentation and ‘voila’ a new organic fertiliser is born.

Happy New Year!

Now, move along, some of us have work to do.

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