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Handling Expressed Milk

Human milk is food. It can be stored in a company refrigerator or in the employee's personal cooler.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) do not classify human milk as a biohazard. (See www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/faq/index.htm.) Universal precautions are not required when handling human milk. Businesses can encourage nursing moms to wipe the area clean with antibacterial wipes after each use.

Restaurants may have policies for storing foods served to customers. If so, an employee's personal cooler is a workable solution for storing human milk.

See Options for Handling Human Milk

Feature Slides

  • Because human milk is food, it can be safely stored in a variety of ways.

  • General Employee Refrigerator. Human milk is safe to store in a general employee refrigerator. Some women keep their expressed milk inside an insulated lunch bag to keep it apart from other employee meals.

  • Small Refrigerator. Employees report they value having a small refrigerator inside the milk expression room for storing their milk, as long as the room is easily accessible.

  • Personal Cooler. Many women prefer to store their milk in a personal cooler or insulated lunch bag and keep it near their work station.

  • Cleaning. Employees should wipe the breast pump and surface areas inside the milk expression room after each session. Rooms should provide antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer.

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Content last updated August 04, 2014.

Resources last updated April 15, 2014.

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