Hey Compliance Warriors!
Unless the co-workers feel weird about it, keeping it in the food fridge is fine. Breast milk is safe for human consumption and is not a hazardous material like blood or other body fluids. It’s even legal for mothers to share breast milk with each other. She will need to label the milk and make sure she follows CDC guidance for storage.
If anyone protests, tell her she is welcome to bring in a small fridge or cooler each day.
Where should I store my breastmilk? https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-home-work-and-public/breastfeeding-and-going-back-work#4
Breastmilk is food, so it is safe to keep it in an employee refrigerator or a cooler with ice packs. Talk to your boss about keeping your milk in an employee refrigerator if you think anyone will be concerned. If you work in a medical department, do not store milk in the same refrigerators where medical specimens are kept.
Label the milk container with your name and the date you expressed the milk. Try to keep the milk in the back of the refrigerator where the temperature is the most constant and coldest.
Here is the CDC guidance on storage. https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/handling_breastmilk.htm
Here is another credible source http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/p/cm/ld/fid=239
Lisa Smith, SPHR, SCP
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