Food and Drink in Laboratories


Laboratories that contain hazardous chemicals, biological hazards, radioactive materials, research animals, and/or human blood or tissues require special work practices to prevent unintentional ingestion of hazardous agents.  Such laboratories are generally not appropriate facilities in which to eat or drink; therefore, personnel must adopt safe practices by eating or drinking outside of laboratory areas, and only after washing their hands.  Accordingly:

  • Eating, drinking, gum chewing, or any activities that increase the likelihood of ingestion of hazardous chemical, radioactive, or infectious materials are prohibited in areas where these materials are used.
  • A physical barrier is required between areas permissible for food storage and/or consumption and the laboratory.
  • Storage of food and beverages is not allowed in refrigerators, cold rooms or ice chests that contain any hazardous chemical, radioactive, or infectious materials. Storage of food and beverages is prohibited except in designated break areas away from laboratories.
  • Cups, water bottles and other food and beverage items are not allowed in laboratories.
  • Food and liquids used for research that are stored in the laboratory must be labeled “Not for human consumption”.