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One third of people have had food stolen from a communal fridge

A survey has revealed that nearly one third of people, including office workers and students living in shared accommodation, have had their food stolen from a communal fridge.

As students head off to university to live away from their parents and with other people for the first time and the rest of us join the 9 to 5 rat race in an office, sharing a communal space becomes an issue for many. Not only do you have to give up a lot of your time and energy to other people, but you also have to share the responsibility of keeping your day to day space which is shared with others clean and tidy, and the worry of others easily having access to your personal belongings in communal areas. The most common concern for many appears to be the shared fridge.

To find out how many people have suffered at the hands of others “borrowing” their food from the communal fridge, Data Labelsurveyed 502 Brits aged between 18 and 65 asking them: “Have you ever had food stolen from your office or student fridge?” Nearly one third of respondents, 28%, answered “Yes”.

There was a clear divide between the younger and older generations having their food stolen from the fridge, with students aged between 18 and 25 being the group most at risk with 34% experiencing food theft compared to 18% in the 55-64 age group.

There was also an apparent divide between different regions of the country – Yorkshire and the Humber was the area most at risk for fridge theft with 37% of people in this region answering that they had experienced it; the East Midlands is the safest place to store your food communally with only 14% answering “Yes”, according to the research.

Speaking about the results, Phillip Carlyn of Data Label, said:

“We were surprised to see that people think they can get away with taking other people’s food from a communal fridge without them noticing. You’ll find that a lot of a tension will arise from the situation making living or working together an uncomfortable experience – some people will resort to keeping their food under lock and key whereas others will confront the guilty party, neither an ideal situation!

“Perhaps for some people, it’s purely an accident. However we can recommend helping to avoid this issue entirely by labelling up your food as well as other belongings, whether in an office environment or student accommodation, so that you have more of a chance of keeping hold of your own stuff.”

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