12/05/2013 09:07 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Should I Eat This Food In The Office Fridge? A Helpful Flowchart

Ofer Wolberger via Getty Images

Everyone who has ever worked in an office has experienced the same, soul-crushing, infuriating feeling of violation that comes with their lunch going missing from the office fridge. Maybe they were leftovers. Maybe you packed yourself a lunch meticulously. Maybe it was just a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It doesn't matter what it was, or how much you were looking forward to eating it, it's gone now and it will never come back. There is no CSI team to come swab for fingerprints (it could be any of these jerks), no recourse for your rage, no replacement lunch for whatever you'd anticipated eating.

I've never met anyone who admitted to being the office lunch thief, but I know they walk among us. Some people post nasty notes, warning potential lunch thieves. Some resort to retaliation by way of making disgusting decoy sandwiches. This guy called 911.

For those of you who struggle with the complex moral dilemma involved in deciding whether or not you should eat a certain food in the office fridge, we've drawn up a helpful flowchart. Office politics can be complex, and we understand that the etiquette surrounding the cornucopia of food in a communal refrigerator can sometimes feel like an impossible code to crack. That's what we're here for, and that's why we embarked on this immense project in the first place. We hope this helps.


Does that clear things up? Feel free to contact HR with any questions.

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