March 1, 2017 7:00:00 AM EST  |  Culture  |  Facilities Support Services  |  WELL Building Standard

In Search of WELLness: Food Contamination (#42)

food pyramid isolated over a white backgroundAt Markon, we continue our pursuit of WELL Certification for our Headquarters expansion. WELL Certified spaces maximize a work space by focusing on how a humans interacts in the built environment. The purpose is to increase health and productivity.

The prerequisite that I found myself getting involved in this week was Feature #42 – Food Contamination.

Many of us are forced to use the shared office pantry refrigerator for keeping our lunch and snacks cold. For those without a regular cleaning schedule, office refrigerators are notorious for becoming petri dishes and filled with science projects.

According to the WELL Building standard, microorganisms from raw meat, fish, and poultry can be transmitted to other products via surfaces like the company’s refrigerator. This bacteria can lead to gastrointestinal problems associated with food poisoning. In order to mitigate food-borne illness, food must be at the right temperature and stored properly. WELL requires that raw foods are separated in different storage areas and are clearly labeled.

When we built our space, we looked for a refrigerator that displayed temperature. This quickly becoming a standard feature in refrigerators, but if you go for the least expensive product, you may not find any display or just a series of bars indicating the temperature.

42In order to meet the standard, we adjusted our Food Policy to state that the bottom drawer in the refrigerator was for raw foods only. We also labeled this drawer with our label maker to ensure that it was clear to all users.

If we can save just one sick day (in all likelihood a miserable sick day) for our team, that is a very big win. A simple label has the opportunity to impact both health and productivity.



About the Author

Ray Carney

Ray Carney

Ray Carney, WELL AP is a Vice President at Markon Solutions and a champion for wellness in the workplace. Ray’s areas of expertise include workplace strategy and modification, design thinking, leadership, sustainable design, data centers, and creating secure environments. His experience includes providing cradle-to-grave project management support for the successful design and build of secure facilities. He also spearheaded the tenant fit-out of Markon's headquarters expansion to ensure that it achieved WELL certification. This was the first WELL certified project in the Commonwealth and was recognized by the City of Falls Church for its achievement. Since joining Markon in 2007, Ray has managed numerous internal program strategies, capture efforts, and client engagements. He also co-developed Markon's in-house Leadership Development Program. Prior to joining Markon, Ray consulted for prestigious consulting firms in the DC metropolitan area and Ohio. Ray's passion for wellness in the workplace has led him to speak at numerous engagements around the country including the National Facilities Management and Technology (NFMT) Conference and Expo. He also published an article on WELL Building Standards in FaciltiesNet. Ray was named one of Engineering News-Record Midatlantic's 2016 Top 20 Under 40 for contributions to the industry. He received his MBA with a concentration in Leadership and Finance from the University of Notre Dame and a bachelor’s degree in Management with a concentration in Business Technology from John Carroll University. Ray is a WELL Accredited Professional, LEED Green Associate, Six-Sigma certified Yellow Belt, certified SCRUMMaster, Sun Certified Java Programmer, and holds the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential as well as both ITIL v3 Foundations and Quality Management certifications.