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Food Safety in Residence Halls

Cooking in residence hall rooms is restricted to only those foods that can be heated using the OU-provided microwave oven (except in student kitchens currently located in Bryan Hall, Voigt Hall, Hoover Hall, and Brough Hall subject to the rules associated with the use of those kitchens.) Hot pots may only be used for heating water, and popcorn poppers may only be used for making popcorn (though the microwave oven will do a fine job of popping corn and heating water).

Pay close attention to and follow the use and care instructions for your Microfridge appliance, and remember that the microwave must be plugged directly into the wall outlet, and the refrigerator must be plugged into the socket on the back of the microwave oven. DO NOT plug any other appliances into this socket.

Potentially hazardous food is any food that consists in whole or in part of milk or milk products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, tofu, backed or boiled potatoes, cooked rice, or cooked beans. To prevent the rapid and progressive growth of bacteria, these foods must be rapidly cooled to and/or held at a temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit or less. We recommend that you purchase an air-temperature thermometer and place it in the refrigerator. Minimize the chance for cross-contamination between raw meats, poultry, fish and ready-to-eat foods by storing the ready-to-eat foods on uppers shelves and raw meat on lower shelves. Cool leftover foods rapidly--don't allow them to remain at room temperature for more than two hours. Wash and sanitize (as best as you're able) food-contact surfaces of eating, storage, and cooking utensils between uses.

With regard to foods which do not need to be kept in the refrigerator or freezer, bear in mind that opened containers/packages of foods will attract insects. Likewise, food crumbs and debris that are accidentally spilled on floors will also attract insects. All food spills should be cleaned up immediately, and opened foodstuffs should be stored in tightly sealed containers.

Leftover foods, food waste, and food containers should be disposed of in your room trash. NOT in lounge, mod, or bathroom trash receptacles. Room trash containing food waste should be removed to a trash dumpster daily. Bathroom sinks and mop sinks should NEVER be used for disposal of food scraps. These wastes will create plumbing as well as sanitation problems. Likewise, toilets should not be used for food scrap disposal.