Breakroom Potluck Tips

Posted
by Alex_RN Alex_RN, BSN Member Nurse

Has 7 years experience.

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dream'n, BSN, RN

Specializes in UR/PA, Hematology/Oncology, Med Surg, Psych. Has 29 years experience. 1,162 Posts

I always have some coworkers dieting, so I usually make a 'berry bowl'. Just fresh strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries. I bring whipped cream separately with sugar packets and Splenda. That way people can keep it low calorie or sweeten it up however they want. Or I make my secret 'dill dip' with lots of fresh veggies. Both dishes are quick to put together before work

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience. 67 Articles; 14,008 Posts

First you clean out the break room refrigerator. Then you announce a potluck with a theme -- posters upthread have had some good ideas for themes. My favorite (night shift) theme was "breakfast." We had an electric griddle that made awesome bacon. (Illegal to bring in crockpots, griddles, etc. but we got away with it on the night shift.) The guys usually volunteered to cook, and we all brought in ingredients: eggs, bread for French toast, bacon, sausage, OJ, etc. YUM! You've just gotta slip the small appliances past management until they go home and have it cleaned up by morning. We also kept a small microwave in the breakroom and hid it under a pile of jackets when management was about.

Extra Pickles

1,403 Posts

a place I used to work did themes like Mexican, Italian, Dessert, Vegetables, Soup Night. we were allowed to bring in crockpots and if we weren't we didn't know about it lol and management wasn't around to make a fuss. I'd be putting up a notice on your breakroom fridge that if it doesn't have a name AND a date by the end of the week, anything in there gets tossed, and that no lunch bags be allowed in there. it's ridiculous really to put an insulated bag in the fridge anyway.

JasBSN

JasBSN

Specializes in Critical care, ER, stepdown, PACU, LTC. Has 15 years experience. 31 Posts

One of my favorite recipes I got from a coworker at a potluck. Green Goddess dip. Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onion, cucumber, radishes,(pretty much any crunchy veggie) chop really small, add diced black olives, shredded cheese, and a bottle of green goddess salad dressing. Serve as a dip with tortilla chips, or my family likes to eat it as a slaw type salad!

madricka

madricka, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology, critical care. Has 15 years experience. 123 Posts

My go-to dish to make for work potlucks is the "Better Homes Potluck Pasta Salad" (easy to find via Google). Instead of cheddar I use mini bocconcini and instead of Italian dressing I bring a bottle of balsamic vinegarette. It's easy/fast to make the night before and quick to dress at work. It's popular, except among the no-carb eaters. You can also make it gluten-free by changing up the pasta and/or dairy-free/vegan by leaving out the cheese (or have it on the side). It holds up well sitting in the break room and won't get funky if not in the fridge.

MadpeysRN

Specializes in MedSurg, OR, Cardiac step down. 365 Posts

Why is the breakroom fridge always so full that you cannot put potluck food into it?

We have two fridges in our already crowded breakroom, that are always full. No one throws away their old stuff, coupled with daily lunch bags..

MadpeysRN

Specializes in MedSurg, OR, Cardiac step down. 365 Posts

Because everyone puts their thermal lunch kits in there. You know, the ones that stay cold WITHOUT refrigeration? Those.

Well I happen to have one of those 31 bags that stay cold without a fridge, guess what it's a sham..jokes on me.🤔

RainMom

Specializes in PACU, pre/postoperative, ortho. Has 11 years experience. 1,113 Posts

We're allowed crock pots, so just about anything goes. Lots of noodles, pulled pork...our group also loves salsa & bean dips. Earlier this yr, we had a cookie bake-off. Yrs ago , before my time in the dept, they had a soup competition & they had so many crock pots of soup, fuses were blown.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience. 6,881 Posts

You can't keep food warm or keep it cold. Leaving pizza and chicken at room temperature is a recipe for disaster. My tip is... skip the potlucks and the diarrhea.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience. 6,881 Posts

First you clean out the break room refrigerator. Then you announce a potluck with a theme -- posters upthread have had some good ideas for themes. My favorite (night shift) theme was "breakfast." We had an electric griddle that made awesome bacon. (Illegal to bring in crockpots, griddles, etc. but we got away with it on the night shift.) The guys usually volunteered to cook, and we all brought in ingredients: eggs, bread for French toast, bacon, sausage, OJ, etc. YUM! You've just gotta slip the small appliances past management until they go home and have it cleaned up by morning. We also kept a small microwave in the breakroom and hid it under a pile of jackets when management was about.

" slip the small appliances past management until they go home". Is that like taping the patient's arm band to the bed? There is a reason building services do not allow small appliances to be brought in... It's called safety. I have seen a chafing dish catch fire to the breakroom. The whole floor had to be evacuated.

cardiacfreak

cardiacfreak, ADN

Specializes in Hospice. 742 Posts

We once went into our breakroom fridge with gloves and masks on on a night shift. Made a lot of room for other things. Make a rule for your fridge. If there's no name/date on the food, it's trash the next time the fridge gets cleaned out.

This is an actual policy at my hospital, if there is not a name and date on all food and drinks it cannot be in the fridge