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The stars of the office petri dish

June 27th, 2013 · 72 comments

I can’t decide between the cheese and the soup. Who do you think deserves the prize?

Food Hygiene Award Contestants: The pizza roll? The soup? The milk? The cheese? The tomato? The tuna?

related: What rhymes with putrid?

FILED UNDER: food · Melbourne · office fridge

72 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Rachel

    The tomatoes are pretty special too

    Jun 27, 2013 at 3:11 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Nunavut Guy

      Kind of delicious?

      Jun 29, 2013 at 7:39 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #2   Captain Hampton

    If you write something like this, I think it’s time to accept that no one in the office is as clean as you are and pick up your own tiny fridge from the store.

    Jun 27, 2013 at 3:18 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   bees

      If only. We’re not allowed to have our own fridges at my workplace due to efforts to reduce our energy usage. Which is a good thing, I suppose.

      Insulated bags FTW!

      Jun 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   FeRD bang

      Yeah… upon my first foray into cubeland, fresh out of college, I soon realized my Diet Coke habit was going to break me at the prices they charged in the Officially-Sanctioned Office Park Vending Machines™, so I decided the only economical solution was to buy it by the case from the supermarket. I petitioned to install a minifridge under my desk (one I’d purchase myself) to house my contraband refreshment stockpile, but was quickly denied.

      …That was the year I switched to warm Diet Coke, for my work-hours beverage needs. I’d just drop a case right in the bottom file drawer of my desk, and drink ‘em straight from there at room temp.

      Jun 29, 2013 at 3:37 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   Nunavut Guy

      $27.00 for a 12 pack where I live.

      Jun 29, 2013 at 7:43 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   FeRD bang

      Jeez, NG, are you stationed on the ISS or something?!? Do we all look like tiny ants from up there? :-D

      Jun 29, 2013 at 3:30 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   kermit

      Geez, if you want cold Diet Coke just put some ice cubes in it, for heaven’s sake. If you can fit a case of Diet Coke in your drawers, surely a glass or mug can also be squeezed in.

      Jun 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #2.6   FeRD bang

      …Your office has an ice machine? I don’t think they’d have let me keep one of those in my cubicle!

      (But the point was, I didn’t want cold Diet Coke. I just wanted Diet Coke. Cold Diet Cokes were available in the soda machines, but they were rather pricey. I’m a cheap bastard.)

      Actually, the real point was to support/corroborate the issue that bees raised, which is that most places won’t let you keep a personal fridge in your workspace. …Somehow, I have really derailed this whole thing.

      Jun 29, 2013 at 4:27 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #2.7   Nunavut Guy

      We space people refer to you as passive aggressive insects…….PANTS for short.

      Jun 29, 2013 at 4:28 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #2.8   kermit

      Not to be a spoil sport, but ya don’t need an ice machine to make ice. You can just buy a bag of ice from any gas station – if you don’t trust the purity of the ice you can make yourself from tap water and an ice cube tray.

      Jun 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #2.9   Raichu

      But if you left it in the freezer compartment of the office fridge, would it survive? :P

      Jun 30, 2013 at 10:33 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #3   H for Toy

    The nominations came out June 17, 2011, but we’re just voting now. I hope that means they’ve remained in the fridge, waiting for the decision, this whole time.

    Jun 27, 2013 at 3:48 pm   rating: 66  small thumbs up

  • #4   Poltergeist

    I can’t decide on who to vote for because I haven’t heard their platforms yet.

    Tell me Moldy Tomato Cheese, what is your opinion on the recent Supreme Court rulings? Do you agree that DOMA, like your curdled and ripe opponents, was, dare I say, past its expiration date?

    Jun 27, 2013 at 4:09 pm   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Poltergeist

      Oops, I wrote “it’s” instead of “its.” I guess my vote won’t count after all considering I’m so uneducated.

      Jun 27, 2013 at 4:27 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #5   magicdomino

    The tuna. Definately the tuna. You think leftover fish heated in the microwave smells bad, try fish that has been slowly rotting for weeks. The plastic wrap prevented it from being removed until its funky aroma had fully developed.

    Jun 27, 2013 at 4:17 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Sir Puke

      Yes, the Tuna!
      The smell and the potential sickness if eaten, are the deciding factors IMHO.

      Jun 28, 2013 at 3:39 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   H for Toy

      You sound like an expert, Sir Puke.

      Jun 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #5.3   Beatus Mongous

      An empty tuna can stuck in the heater vent…

      Jun 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #6   Snowflame

    *hums* Livin’ in the fridge, you can’t stop the mold from growin’, livin’ in the fridge, can’t tell what it is at all…

    Jun 27, 2013 at 4:42 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Jami

      ♪ Tell me, do you think it should be carbon dated
      Fumigated or cremated and buried at sea? ♪

      Jun 28, 2013 at 4:23 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #7   cowsaysmeow

    I can’t decide between the tomato cheese and the extra tasty tuna myself. I’ll admit the home-away-from-home-grown blue cheese gets bonus points for making the fridge a more colorful place. Yay science?

    Jun 27, 2013 at 4:49 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #8   Lythande

    I’m really curious what Coon Tasty is (but not enough to Google it). A treat made for raccoons? A treat made -of- raccoons? Something even less politically correct?

    Jun 27, 2013 at 4:54 pm   rating: 22  small thumbs up

  • #9   sarah

    there is cheese called COON, really?!
    i’ll take that with a racist sandwich and bigot soup to go, thanks yo.

    Jun 27, 2013 at 5:12 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Rachel

      How is a cheese called Coon racist or bigoted?

      Jun 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   Poltergeist

      The word has historically been used in the United States as a racial slur for a black person, though that’s clearly not the case here as it was apparently the cheese-maker’s last name. The cheese is sold in Australia, where the word “coon” might not have that connotation anyway.

      Jun 27, 2013 at 9:01 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   Dan

      The word does have that connotation in Australia (unfortunately), but the cheese is named for a person and – despite the claims of some activists – isn’t intended to be racist at all. But I doubt that Sarah is the kind of person to let facts get in the way of being offended.

      Jun 27, 2013 at 9:04 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   Rachel

      Considering that it was named after an American, I now wonder what the origins of the surname are?

      Jun 27, 2013 at 9:33 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   Dan

      A quick Google search says it could be derived from the Bavarian Gohn/Kuhn, Hebrew Cohen/Kohen, Scottish MacCoon/MacEwan, Irish Ó Cuana or Dutch Coen/Koen.

      Basically, the surname has nothing to do with the racial slur.

      Jun 27, 2013 at 10:03 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #9.6   Rachel

      That’s disappointing. I was hoping that America sent over all its racists, given that Britain sent over all its criminals. Please forgive me for not doing my own googling. The stories in my head have proven to, once again, be much more interesting.

      Jun 28, 2013 at 1:13 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #9.7   Cheesy

      The British sent more criminals to the USA than they sent to Australia.

      Jun 28, 2013 at 8:38 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #9.8   Really!!

      **eye roll** **sigh**

      Jun 28, 2013 at 8:45 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #9.9   sarah

      Well I admit I didn’t google the word coon to check if it was a name or not, Dan…but if I saw a cheese named Chink or Paki, I would probably still buy another cheese before I thought ‘this is probably just someone’s name’, if I am honest with you! Particularly since cheese isn’t usually named Jones or Williams or McGuinness or…. Coon, but rather Cheddar or Stilton or Camembert or Pecorino…

      But fair enough, if that’s someone’s name…it’s just a pretty unfortunate one!

      Jun 28, 2013 at 9:30 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #9.10   redheadwglasses

      The Twin Cities has a suburb called “Coon Rapids.” We take some heat for that.

      IT’s named for raccoons, people. Minnesota is racist enough that they wouldn’t have named a freaking TOWN after black people, even in a denigrating way.

      Jun 28, 2013 at 12:14 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #9.11   Jami

      Here I was going to joke it was made with raccoon milk but it’s really just someone’s last name. Darn.

      Jun 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #9.12   thrall

      Really? There are no crackers for the Coon cheese? Where is the hospitality? Or the irony?

      Jun 28, 2013 at 8:02 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #9.13   Beatus Mongous

      Coon cheese doesn’t seem racist to me, at all. Now, if it was Coon ribs, Coon fried chicken, or Coon grape soda, it would definitely be racist.

      Jun 28, 2013 at 8:28 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #9.14   Beatus Mongous

      But we still have Aunt Jemima syrup and Uncle Ben’s rice, so…

      Jun 28, 2013 at 8:29 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #9.15   Jdaniel

      I would be suspicious if it was called “Nword” Cheese. (The phase Nword, not the Politically Incorrect version).

      Jun 28, 2013 at 10:56 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #9.16   Raichu

      Wow…I always thought “coon” was just short for “raccoon”. Never knew it was a slur.

      You learn something new every day I guess. Glad I never embarrassed myself with that one.

      Jun 30, 2013 at 10:36 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #9.17   dom

      welcome to the world of cultures with different histories outside america

      Coon is slang in america
      Generally not so outside of America.

      Jul 1, 2013 at 12:51 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #10   Jan

    It’s an Australian cheese. Originated by the Coon family back in the day.

    Jun 27, 2013 at 5:33 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Jan

      Ah I googled. Apparently it was a Yank who invented it!

      Jun 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #11   misspiggy

    No matter how innocent its origin, you could not market a cheese with that name in the UK. It says something – I’m not sure what – about Australia.

    The tuna gets my vote – eeh.

    Jun 28, 2013 at 5:57 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Dr_Know

      It says “we let people name their products after themselves”

      Jun 30, 2013 at 4:34 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   Jo

      I don’t buy it misspiggy, but to be fair to those who do, it’s probably just because it’s one of the cheapest brands. Cheese isn’t cheap here.

      Jun 30, 2013 at 11:53 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #11.3   dom

      it says that coon is a word for cheese in australia, and that’s it

      but keep reaching to be offended by different cultures

      Jul 1, 2013 at 12:54 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #12   Lil'

    I think it would be more fun to have a recipe contest using these ingredients. I’m not signing up to be a judge, but still, it would be fun.

    Jun 28, 2013 at 7:28 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #13   Dane Zeller

    It’s got to be the milk. It’s the only one with a date on it that has been reached. Better evidence than some questionable round green spot on a tomato. Let’s be scientific about this!

    Jun 28, 2013 at 8:22 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   spoko bang

      Except it’s not better evidence at all. Milk dates are sell-by, not don’t-touch-after. If it’s been sealed the whole time, I guarantee it’s still perfectly fine. It’s only two weeks past due, which is virtually nothing.

      Jun 28, 2013 at 8:52 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   Beatus Mongous

      Warm up the milk and leave it out for 24 hours, separate the whey, slice it up, add some cream, and you have cottage cheese. Put that on the pizza roll, and you could probably still eat it.

      Jun 28, 2013 at 8:33 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   FeRD bang

      @Dane: That’s a really unsound argument, unfortunately. While I agree that milk dating is something you want to take pretty seriously, the mere presence of an expiration date, in and of itself, proves absolutely nothing. Companies love to assign arbitrary “lifetimes” to products, most likely because some lawyer told them that it would help cover their asses if they ever sold a tainted batch of anything.

      I noticed a few months ago that the bottle of rubbing alcohol in my medicine cabinet has an expiration date on it! I cannot fathom, but shudder to contemplate, WExactlyTF they expect is going to happen to my rubbing alcohol after 3-ish years have passed, that would render it no longer fit for my use? Is it going to turn into water!?

      Jun 29, 2013 at 3:45 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #13.4   Poltergeist

      Don’t be silly FeRD. That is obviously the approximate date of the second coming of Christ. One of his first acts will be to turn all of our rubbing alcohol into wine. Use it while you can for you will soon be forced to clean your wounds with Manischewitz.

      Jun 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #13.5   kermit

      Sorry due, but rubbing alcohol does expire or rather turns into a different product. It oxidizes slowly (if you haven’t opened the bottle) or quickly (if you opened it) and turns into acetone.

      So your rubbing alcohol has turned into nail polish remover. Which is cool if you want nail polish remover, but chances are you don’t want to rub it on yourself to disinfect and/or ease muscle pains.

      Jun 29, 2013 at 3:56 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #13.6   FeRD bang

      Huh. Well, that is exciting! Acetone would certainly be more useful than water, that stuff’s everywhere.

      I wonder how long I’d have to wait for that to happen? (If the bottle’s expiration date is in 2015, gotta figure there could be trace amounts of acetone detectable by no later than, what, like 2050?)

      Jun 29, 2013 at 4:37 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #13.7   kermit

      You’d probably have enough acetone to use it as nail polish remover a few months after the expiration date, so about 3-4 years.

      Jun 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #13.8   Dana

      Which is one of the reasons you can use rubbing alcohol to clean up nail products! It’s great on UV gel residue and on cleaning up acetone stains on linoleum.

      You can also use acetone to disinfect a cut in a hurry, though I don’t recommend it because it stings.

      Jun 29, 2013 at 5:20 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #14   Tard

    To be clear, the pizza roll is still good, I’d hit it!

    Jun 28, 2013 at 8:29 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Lee Wainwright

      From an office fridge I’d pass on them all, but at 3am after a night on the beer I’d be conjuring up Jamie Oliver ad-hoc style on this batch of penicillin enhanced goodies… Milky egg free tuna omelette anyone?

      Jun 28, 2013 at 8:50 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   Who passed out the Haterade?

      That might be a little too much information, T… ^_^;

      Jun 28, 2013 at 9:37 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #15   yolanda

    Another approach is just to clean the fridge for everyone’s benefit and pat yourself on the back for being a good house elf. You’ll never get credit for it though.

    Jun 28, 2013 at 11:00 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #16   Jolly

    Jesus christ these people are monsters.

    Jun 28, 2013 at 4:09 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #17   Nectaris

    I would probably say the tuna would be the worst of those. Nothing quite beats rotting meat for a terrible smell. The milk is still sealed and only two days out of date which means that it could still be good, but all the tuna has is a thin plastic covering. All of those(except really the milk, that isn’t that bad) are pretty gross, I don’t think I would want to keep anything in there with that junk.

    Jun 28, 2013 at 4:54 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #18   Corviddreams

    Is it terrible that I would consider coming in very early in the a.m., throwing everything rotten in a trashcan, and calling in sick to wait for the cries as the odors escape?

    Jun 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

  • #19   Madrias

    Definitely the fish. Nothing beats the stink of rotting fish. Someone above mentioned a can of tuna in an air vent (I think, I’m roughly paraphrasing here), and yes, I’ve been that asshole once, but unintentionally. I dropped tuna fish (the canned stuff) down an air intake vent while eating most of it.

    No, I didn’t own up to it at the time. I didn’t want the blame for the putrid stink. That was after a day and a half.

    Jun 29, 2013 at 7:00 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #20   Raichu

    Yuuuuck. The tomatoes or the tuna, I think. Cheese is a close runner-up.

    Milk? Not that bad. Soup? Just toss it. Crusty bread? Unless it’s moldy, not that gross; I mean I wouldn’t eat it, but I don’t think it looks/smells bad.

    But the tomatoes, the cheese, the fish??? Does nobody else notice these things?????

    Jun 30, 2013 at 10:39 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #21   TuesdayPillow

    Those tomatoes have a certain … hrmmm … I don’t know what … pikatomato, I choose you!

    Jul 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #22   Andi

    Meh, the milk is only two days past due. That’s pretty average in our office. We have a milk fund but are often slack on buying new milk. We’ve been known to use it for several days past the use-by date. The general rule is that if it doesn’t curdle and the first person who used it today hasn’t hurled then you are good to go LOL

    Jul 6, 2013 at 5:40 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #22.1   vegangeekgirl bang

      Sounds reasonable, if the milk doesn’t curdle the coffee it’s fine, it have to be slightly off to do that.

      The tuna I think, aren’t tuna supposed to cause food poison quite easily if it gets too old?

      It’s hard though the tomato is also pretty bad, mold tend to trigger my asthma and keeping food in an open tin always looks gross to me.

      Jul 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #23   Dave

    coming in late here. the cheese and the tomatoes are so close-i do think someone could eat the tomatoes which puts them over the top for my vote

    Jul 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #24   Dr.Chalkwitheringlicktacklefeff

    The milk will be fine for a few more days.

    Jul 27, 2013 at 11:56 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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