How Do You Stop People From Stealing Your Food From The Shared Fridge?

How Do You Stop People from Stealing Your Food from the Shared Fridge?

Lunch (and other food) thievery seems to be a rampant problem in many offices and other places with a communal fridge. You could use a thief-deterring, fake, mouldy sandwich bag, or lace your food with laxatives, but maybe there's a less extreme method. What's yours?

Picture: joelogon/Flickr

The food folks at Epicurious offer a few suggestions for combatting office lunch theft, but some of them seem inconvenient for us, such as making food that's disgusting.

One option is to bring a lunch bag with an ice pack and skip the fridge all together, but that doesn't help at home if your roommates help themselves to your food.

What would or did you do in these kinds of situations?


    Note on fridge:
    "Sooner or later I will catch you in the act..! and then it'll be your choice of bruises, or the boys in blue.. think about it..!"

    Last edited 09/07/14 8:35 am

      Pretty sure calling the cops over stolen food is going to end badly for the caller.

        Really, Why..? If you catch the person in the act, It's theft..! Which makes it a crime, not a frivolous or nuisance call..! Besides that though, the note just might make the asshat think twice before doing it again...

        Last edited 09/07/14 10:29 am

          If you have to ask why, then I don't think I can make you understand :)


          oh wow

          I would pay so much to hear that phone call

    What's the legal status of booby-trapping some food with laxatives?

      It's your food, maybe you need the laxatives?

    I used to hide my normal milk by pouring it into a rinsed out, long-life goat milk carton. I've also tried bringing food in that doesn't need to be in the fridge, as well as the lunch bag with an ice pack, which worked well in most office situations.

    We have this annoying Plastic Bag policy, and everyone puts a sticky label on your bag each day with the date..... and every day someone's lunch is stolen as we all have the grey bags from coles or woolies.

    I myself have resorted to keeping my lunch in my locker lunch bag with an icepack.

    I'm surprised people actually steal other people's food. Is this just more of a huge corporate office thing?

      My experience is that no-one owns up to the mouldy food in the fridge they forgot they brought in weeks ago. Maybe it's more of a low paid office worker thing (call centres).

      We also have a dishwasher and I'm amazed people think cups and bowls will magically come out clean if just placed top side up. Hint: it just fills with water and needs to be put through again.

    I'm in payroll, so I add a note to my food reminding people that without my dinner, I may forget to pay some people!

    Call the Popo. Technically it is theft. Mind you, spend a couple of weeks eating non refrigerated food and lacing the decoy in the fridge with laxatives as kozuki6 says. The cops can pop a finger up my [email protected]% if they really want to check. I tried to chuck a sick day as a young lad and my parents called my bluff and told the doctor that I was backed up........... never skipped school again.

    This has never happened anywhere I've ever worked. I cannot even begin to imagine the kind of toxic workplace culture that must exist for people to be stealing each other's food.

    I've seen lunch containers before that are sort of like floppy bags and have a hole for small padlocks, as sad as it would be to have to use one.

    The thing that gets me more is the disappearing cutlery, ESPECIALLY teaspoons which no-one owns up to. In my last job, the boss came around on a surprise desk inspection and found some prick with his top drawer full of them, which he had moments earlier shoved in there.

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