Powered by GoogleTranslate
Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1030

April 21, 1992

The Honorable Larry E. Craig
United States Senate
Attention: Nicole L. Gaul
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Craig:

This is in response to your letter of March 2, addressed to the former Assistant Secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Gerard Scannell. You wrote on behalf of your constituent, Dr. S. C. Taylor.

Dr. Taylor was concerned that 29 CFR 1910.1030, "Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens", prohibited "drinking of coffee and eating of food in our office".

This regulation prohibits the consumption of food and drink in areas in which work involving exposure or potential exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material exists, or where the potential for contamination of work surfaces exists. The prohibition against eating and drinking in such a work area is consistent with other OSHA standards and is good industrial hygiene practice.

In addition to contamination of the food itself, one must consider that food and beverage containers may also become contaminated, resulting in unsuspected contamination of the hands. Food and drink may be contaminated by such processes as the leakage or spillage of specimen containers, or the performance of activities that could generate splashes, sprays, or droplets of blood or other potentially infectious materials.

Dr. Taylor is free to designate areas in which it is not reasonable to anticipate that occupational exposure will occur and to allow the consumption of food and beverage in those areas. OSHA will evaluate such designations on a case-by-case basis and anticipates that such areas will be separated from contaminated work areas.

We hope this information is responsive to your constituent's concerns. Thank you for your interest in worker safety and health.


Dorothy L. Strunk
Acting Assistant Secretary

cc: Washington, D.C. Office

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.