01 Mar In Search of WELLness: Food Contamination (#42)

At 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.

In 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.


WELL Standard #42 - Food Contamination

Ray Carney, WELL AP

Ray Carney is Vice President of Operations and oversees the development of Markon’s corporate infrastructure to support growth. He also leads the Commercial Portfolio for Markon Solutions including all new and existing non-government clients. His responsibilities include client satisfaction, market maturity, and developing new opportunities. Mr. Carney’s areas of expertise include leadership, sustainable design, workplace strategy and modification, design thinking, data centers, and creating secure environments. Since joining Markon in 2007, Mr. Carney has successfully delivered design and construction projects for multiple government agencies including the DIA, ODNI, CIA, FBI, DoD, and DOJ. For example, Mr. Carney provided cradle-to-grave project management support for the successful design and build of secure facilities. 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. Mr. Carney is a Project Management Institute (PMI)-certified Project Management Professional (PMP), a Six-Sigma certified Yellow Belt, a certified SCRUMMaster, a LEED Green Associate, a Sun Certified Java Programmer, and holds both ITIL v3 Foundations and Quality Management certifications.