• Kristoffer Collopy

5 - Reasons Why You Need To Get Rid of Your Shared Office Cutlery

1. Stop The Spread

Each year in Australia there are about four million cases of gastroenteritis due to food poisoning which occurred at home or work, according to Clare Collins, a professor of nutrition and dietetics at the University of Newcastle.

The cost due to medical care and lost work productivity is estimated at $1.3 billion. Safe food-handling skills could have prevented most cases,

Professor Collins said.

“You get food poisoning when you consume bacteria in foods that have not been stored, handled or cooked correctly,” she said.

“In a dirty kitchen, the problem will be if these poorly treated foods come into contact with your food due to the use of dirty utensils or an out-of-control fridge.”

Now that we are also facing a global pandemic the risk of transmission within the workplace is of paramount importance. (original article on Professor Collins findings)

2. Reduce single-use Items and Rubbish

Most offices don't allow their cutlery to be taken to lunch and used outside of the office. In quite a few workplaces, heading out for lunch at our favourite cafe is a great way to catch up on out of office chats and build relationships with our team members.

Unfortunately, the handy knives, forks and spoons that you conveniently grab from your favourite food truck, lunch spot or cafe are too light and too contaminated for recycling.....even if you throw them in the recycling bin.

In Australia alone, we contribute 3.5 billion tonnes of plastic into our oceans and landfills each year. (

Single-use plastics:

  • Make up a third of the litter we see on our streets and in our waterways – they are costly to clean up and difficult to recycle.

  • Are often used for only a few minutes but remain in the environment for a long time

  • Harm the environment – they break into microplastics which harm wildlife and contaminate our food and water.

As a workplace, we can help reduce the use of single-use plastics by providing re-usable cutlery sets for our staff groups.

3. The Cost of Lost Silverware

In 2005, Melbourne's Burnet Institute published a paper titled The case of the disappearing teaspoons: longitudinal cohort study of the displacement of teaspoons in an Australian research institute. She explained the project came about following accusations of cutlery theft between different research groups. "We didn't want to make unfounded accusations," she said. "We wanted to have evidence, so we decided to actually experiment and do some tracking." Lim and her colleagues purchased 70 new teaspoons and marked numbers on them so they could keep tabs on their movements. "Then every week I went around the building searching all the kitchens and public areas to see if I could spy any teaspoons," she said.

The results were startling.

"Eighty per cent of the spoons went missing over five months," Lim said.

"A lot of them seemed to disappear without a trace really."

That rate of loss meant that 252 teaspoons would need to be purchased each year to maintain a steady collection of 70 teaspoons in the kitchen. Based on those figures, the researchers estimated an astonishing 18 million teaspoons were going missing in Melbourne each year.

4. Always Having A Clean Area Is Handy and Productive

A further $6 billion is lost because of delays caused by employees avoiding dirty areas, such as heading out for coffee instead of making one in a dirty kitchen. - University of Queensland

5. Branded Re-Usable Cutlery Sets Are Great For Branding, Reducing Mess and Gifts For Employee's

A personalised, re-usable cutlery set that sits in a tidy box is a great way to provide staff groups with an option to avoid using shared cutlery, avoid using single-use plastics or accidentally taking expensive metal knives and forks home with us after lunch.

Just Utensils works with Australian businesses to provided branded multi-coloured sets for their teams and as corporate gifts

37 views0 comments