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Refrigerator Temperature - Refrigerators Provided in Patient Rooms

When organizations provide refrigerators in patient rooms for personal use, is temperature monitoring and log maintenance required for these refrigerators?

Any examples are for illustrative purposes only. 

The Joint Commission is not prescriptive to monitor or log temperature for refrigerators provided for personal patient use.  However, a process is required to be in place to ensure that the refrigerator functions properly to safely store its contents. 

The Joint Commissions standards require that organizations store food and nutrition products, including those brought in by patients or their families, using proper sanitation, temperature, light, moisture, ventilation, and security as per PC.02.02.03.  

When nutritional products, such as breast milk or baby formula are stored in these refrigerators, refer to evidence-based guidelines from the formula manufacturer's instructions for use (IFU), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), etc. to ensure safe storage. 
Organizations should also have processes that address cleaning between patients and identifies maintenance responsibilities. 

Consult with state and local authorities having jurisdiction to address regulations and requirements specific to your geographic location.

Additional Resources:
CDC Guidelines Proper Storage and Preparation of Breast Milk
Manual: Assisted Living Community
Chapter: Environment of Care EC
First published date: April 10, 2017 This Standards FAQ was first published on this date.
This page was last updated on October 26, 2021

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