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reheating fish at work... faux pas?

It's Friday
It's Lent
I don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent

I had leftover breadded haddock and pierogies from last night's dinner, it's a mild fish

one thin filet and three pierogies

zapped it (no toaster oven) for 1 minute 30 seconds, stepped away during that time to grab mail, etc...
I was completely called out for heating fish up in the microwave at work.

Ok, so they made a joke of it, but I could tell that there was some resentment in that laughter.

so I eat stinky foods, I remember getting "the look" while eating Korean in the lunch room too

Is reheating fish at work still considered a faux pas???

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  1. For me, it's right up there with microwave popcorn, and I like fish. I'm a bit sensitive though, we have very limited space, and the shared microwave at work is in my office.

    21 Replies
    1. re: mpjmph

      What's the deal with microwave popcorn? I can understand the complaints about fish and stinky foods that don't smell pleasant while being nuked, but microwave popcorn smells great. Is it just that the smell of the popcorn makes other people hungry?

      1. re: TuteTibiImperes

        I find that a lot of people think microwave popcorn stinks. I know most of the people around my office hate the smell of it (including me). And it lingers in the air so long, that you are stuck smelling it for far too long.

        1. re: Sooeygun

          +1- it smells horrible to me (and I love popcorn) and lingers for hours and hours.

          1. re: EWSflash

            Hmm. I just made a bag of microwave popcorn to test the smell.... and it still smells great to me, I guess it's just one of those things. I didn't realize some people really hated it, I always thought the 'is somebody cooking popcorn' type comments were of the playful 'oh, I smell baking cookies but I'm on a diet' variety.

            1. re: TuteTibiImperes

              I am one where the smell of popcorn disgusts me....I can't even eat popcorn anymore due to the smell of it cooking. I find the smell truly repulsive.

              1. re: jenscats5

                +1, particularly the fakey, butter stuff that everyone makes. I can eat real popcorn that I make on the stove at home, but that microwave stuff just stinks so bad, and it does linger and linger forever. When I was PG, it literally sent me to the bathroom with puke in my mouth.

            2. re: EWSflash

              +2. i can't stand the smell of bagged microwave popcorn, and it lingers in the air *and* in the microwave.

              and to the OP, yes, nuking fish at the office is a bad idea. it's one of those odors you really can't control, and many people find it offensive.

            3. re: Sooeygun

              I like some of it, but the brand in our vending machine smells dreadful. And even worse when somebody sets the timer on the microwave and walks off, scorching the bag.

            4. re: TuteTibiImperes

              Microwaved popcorn smells like chemicals. It's disgusting, oily and hangs in the air forever. It is just totally selfish to heat it up and make everyone else smell it for an hour.
              Blech. Should be banned.

              1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                There are some brands of MW popcorn that smell fine, others that literally smell like vomit (Paul Newman's, for example) while they are cooking. I think most of them taste okay, though, once you get past that vomit smell.

                1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                  I love the smell of popcorn in general, but I find most microwave popcorn has a very acrid smell. In my experience it's also prone to burning in office settings, which makes the smell even worse.

                  1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                    "I can understand the complaints about fish and stinky foods that don't smell pleasant while being nuked, but microwave popcorn smells great." I think so too, and couldn't imagine anyone disliking it until I met the current Mrs. O. She finds the smell repellent - not just the microwaved stuff, but theater popcorn, grilled fresh corn, whatever. So you can't make such broad assumptions.

                    One common problem with office lunch rooms is they tend to be both tiny and badly ventilated, and that microwave oven gets cleaned HOW often? Usually only after someone's goat-and-turnip casserole explodes in it. I used to bring any and all of my favorite leftovers (and BOY do I love me some stinky food!), but then I was an inconsiderate food snob. Well, I still am a bit of a food snob, but if I were still inhabiting an office environment I would leave the fish or kimchi at home, or else eat it cold. That is actually not a bad thing to do with fish - bring a ziplock of salad greens, another with the fish, a small jar of dressing and a bowl. Breaded fish is probably not the best choice for this, though!

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      But.....but I thought everyone LOVED my goat and turnip casserole! I try to hide in the less occupied parts of the building or outdoors (if weather allows) to eat my stankiest favorites....

                    2. re: TuteTibiImperes

                      I can't stand the smell of microwaved popcorn; smells like feet to me.

                      I have a friend who worked for a major French-owned company and she said microwaved popcorn was banned from their offices because the French find this smell offensive. And this coming from the land of stinky cheeses!

                      1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                        I think it's that, whether you love or hate the smell, it smells really strong and lingers. It's the food equivalent of spreading out and taking up three seats on the subway... just a little out of proportion.

                        Luckily, my coworkers are very friendly to microwave popcorn :)

                        1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                          After having a room mate who make no other food, and after having the cube next to the kitchen, I have to say I hate the smell of microwave popcorn. Especially since I was in an office of gifted people who managed to burn it at least twice a week. Then there was the time black billowing smoke poured out of the kitchen as someone set the timer for 20 minutes and then left the kitchen. After I pleaded with the office manager, she agreed to not order any popcorn for the office. It's a bad smell, and it does linger for a while, and when you get to smell it 3 times a day you get pretty sick of it.

                          And yes, reheating fish is an office faux pas.

                          1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                            In my experience, the popcorn can be easily burned. Even if it isn't burned, the smell lingers for the rest of the day. If you want to stay friends with your co workers, don't make popcorn in the staff micro!

                            1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                              The office smells like popcorn for the whole day, maybe even beyond. Not the proper work environment.

                              1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                Microwave popcorn smells like chemicals, not food. That's the deal with it.

                                I don't even microwave fish at home, it smells so bad.

                                1. re: TuteTibiImperes

                                  The smell of microwave popcorn really makes me nauseous! Not sure about the smeil of microwaved fish. I like popcorn ( not microwaved), and I love fish- though I have never nuked it.

                              2. Yeah, it was a gaffe. FTR, you don't have to eat fish on Friday if you're avoiding meat. You can simply go vegetarian on that day, at least when it comes to the office microwave.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Isolda

                                  in a hurry, it was just easier to throw the leftovers into my lunch bag and take off for work but you're right about the non-fish options

                                2. big gaffe! P-U!!
                                  (am sure you're otherwise considerate)

                                  1. It depends upon your work place. The area I work in is very diverse so the microwave has food heated up from cuisines from around the world. We are fortunate to have a large area where aromas dissipate quickly.

                                    Since your coworkers called you out, I would say yes it's a faux pas.
                                    What I've done with strong food is wrap in a bag or saran wrap to minimize the aromas being sucked out and blown around the room by the microwave's fan. Also, I believe foods heat much faster when covered tightly.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: dave_c

                                      Other than microwave popcorn, most of the people in my office don't care either. Or at least don't care enough to bother complaining. We have a very diverse staff, so one minute it's Indian, then Thai, then Chinese, etc. And we have a good fan in the kitchen.

                                      The only person that ever mutters about the smells, likes to eat canned chicken noodle soup, which I think smells horrible.

                                      1. re: Sooeygun

                                        Maybe the trick is to heating up fish in the microwave is to cook/burn some popcorn afterward. No more fishy smell. lol.

                                      1. I took my plate outside to eat at the picnic table, nobody like 'the smelly kid' that's for sure

                                        1. I have to go with the majority here and say yes, it is a faux pas. If a smell is strong enough to affect your co-workers, than its too strong.

                                          1. If you got called out, yes, faux pas. As a seafood-hating former Catholic I got it priest-confirmed that it's "don't eat meat," not "must eat fish" on Fridays during Lent. Ironically how I started cooking as a kid was making myself spaghetti because my mother insisted on serving fish on Lenten Fridays.

                                            1. Love fish, but the last time a co-worker used the microwave to reheat fish I was at the head of the pack demanding a public flogging and lifetime ban from bringing in outside food (for her).

                                              One man's yummy "mild" fish is another's sensory nightmare.

                                              1. It's only a faux pas if it bothers your co-workers.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: raytamsgv

                                                  When it comes to communal dining facilities, erring on the side of caution is the rule.

                                                  1. re: ferret

                                                    Is herring on the side of caution?

                                                2. Strong smelling foods in an enclosed area are not pleasant. Even if it's something that I might otherwise find appealing, when the smell lingers, it's just nasty.

                                                  1. our office is diverse. There is a sign asking anyone who reheats fish to wipe out the microwave afterwards.

                                                    1. We have a post-it note on our microwave at work with a picture of a fish in a circle with a diagonal line through it. Enough said. :)

                                                      PS... I love fish, but can't stand the smell of it reheated at work. I think many others feel the same way.

                                                      1. Re-heated fish smells revolting. A coworker warmed a fish entree 'Lean Cuisine' in the microwave and it was baffling to me that anyone would consider that edible.

                                                        BTW- I hate microwaves and got in trouble a few months back for starting an anti-microwave post on CH.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: CCSPRINGS

                                                          I hate microwaves too. And I don't own one, and probably won't anytime in the near future. I don't consider them unsafe, I just think they're a waste of space.

                                                        2. Don't do it. I had an employee reheat some fish for lunch one day. Stunk up my office for the rest of the day. Smelled like burned rubber. It was nasty.

                                                          1. I actually like fish lukewarm/cold from the fridge with mustard. So if I have to bring fish to work, I won't bother to even heat it....

                                                            1. I'm one who thinks that anything with a strong smell (good or bad) is not something to be eaten in a small place in which others can't just get up and leave, work place, class room, bus (I live where we have a regional bus and they allow food and beverages due to the long ride anywhere).

                                                              I love to eat left-overs for lunch as I have a small budget and hate wasting food but I don't re-heat stinky foods. If I bring fish, I just eat it cold and I usually go outside to the park tables unless I'm the only one there. I don't mind when others eat strong smelling food but I'm not easily bothered by it nor do I dislike food smells. My mother would snap if you re-heated fish anywhere near her My co-worker apologizes just for re-heating broccoli. I keep telling her I don't mind but I guess it bothers her so she finds it a bit rude.

                                                              I'd like it if we all were understanding of each others food needs such as using up leftovers but sometimes a small, shared space just doesn't allow for strong smelling foods.

                                                              I wouldn't have bothered me but I think you're right, it must have really bothered someone in your office.

                                                              1. I have to agree with the majority here--no fish in the office microwave. The smell is just awful.

                                                                I used to work in a space that shared a half-wall with the communal kitchenette. Someone used to microwave fish for lunch almost daily. Everyday, our work space stunk for a least an hour. Not pleasant.

                                                                1. In the mid-80s I was working for a start-up database marketing company. Maybe 25 employees. The office was in a converted elementary school, and the tiny kitchen (sink, frig, microwave, one table) was directly across the hall from the only large office, which the two co-owners shared. One of my friends started heating up her lunch (left-over halibut) while the owners were talking to a prospective client whom they were about to take out to lunch.

                                                                  Directive came down the next day: NO FISH IN THE MICROWAVE!

                                                                  1. Ok, I get it (see my embarrassed, red face) no fish, no Korean, no Vietnamese, especially after I’ve splashed some fish sauce on it, no Indian and NO microwave pop corn
                                                                    Now I’m off to heat up my white rice and boiled chicken and warm skim milk with a side of wonder bread(KIDDING, just kidding)

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: cgarner

                                                                      If you just managed ot warm your stinky food up to room temp, lots of foods are edible and there isn't near as much smell, if any.
                                                                      Except for microwave popcorn.

                                                                      1. re: cgarner

                                                                        I was head chef of a full service cafe at a local software business. BTW it was a culturally diverse company. Now get this...There was a person who used the microwaves to heat their food from home everyday. Said person would also partake of the complimentary espresso, & hot beverage station a minimum of 5 times daily. I received from this person a leaflet that listed numerous ways to rid a space of cooking smells, particularly onions & garlic...*slap my forehead with my palm*

                                                                      2. I'm lucky that our office kitchen has a door on it. I love microwave popcorn and being ethnic, I love my various stinky foods. Fortunately, living where I do, one of the most popular food items is fish cakes made from salted dried cod. So no problem with me bringing in fish or other items of dubious nature. Count me lucky!

                                                                        Unfortunately, as the world has become a more multi-cultural place, what one considers nice smelling is another person's offensive hence the adopted attitude of "you don't complain about my stinky, I don't complain about your stinky". Seems to work so far.

                                                                        Good luck with that, I don't have fish at the office that often but when I do, I enjoy every last bite of it.

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: bdachow

                                                                          I agree. Our kitchen is in it's own little room down the hall so maybe I have a skewed perspective on this. I think people should be free to heat up what they like since if no one could heat up something that anyone else finds offensive (How dare you heat up that pizza before me, it's not on my diet!!) then cgarner is right; we'd just be eating boiled chicken and rice. It's just a smell, it's not going to hurt you.

                                                                          1. re: Lixer

                                                                            But I would like to add that it probably is best to just go with the flow in your office. If you get multiple comments and stares I'd back off the fish too. That said, I do try to eat my tuna and egg salads outside. :)

                                                                            1. re: Lixer

                                                                              Previously, the microwave was right outside my office, in a little cubbyhole of an area that retained food smell ALL day. At 4:30, 5 in the evening, I would STILL be smelling other people's lunch every time I stepped through my office door. Pesto may smell great at lunch, but four hours later? It made my stomach turn. Even worse was when multiple people used the microwave, resulting in a layered odor that lingered for hours.

                                                                              The odor issue has as much (if not more) to do with the space as it does with the food.

                                                                          2. I think you have a right to reheat your fish. I've done it. I do notice when my co-workers do it but the smell goes away.

                                                                            Someone burned a bag of popcorn in our office microwave and the smell has lingered for at least two weeks. Now THAT's a crime.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: NYCkaren

                                                                              You never have the "right" to be inconsiderate of others, which I think nuking fish is just that. Who the hell wants to smell your stanky-ass fish? The odor does linger....way, way too long.
                                                                              Eat your fish cold or not at all!
                                                                              <over reactive rant over ;-)>

                                                                              1. re: monavano

                                                                                Agreed and as boss I get to say what can and can not be microwaved in my office. Rights? Funny

                                                                            2. I've had luck reheating *some* fish (especially if it's fairly thin filets; not breaded) by boiling a cup of water in the micro, then putting my covered fish on a thin plastic plate (like a paper plate) over the hot water (in MY office) for several minutes.

                                                                              It doesn't get hot, but it's at least warm enough to eat, and there's no smell. Stirring it into hot rice or vegetables also heats it up nicely without putting it in the micro.

                                                                              I used to work with a wonderful woman who reheated fish that was unfit for human consumption. It reeked of ammonia (but she seemed to not only not notice, but never suffered any consequences) and no matter how much we turned up the ventilation fans and opened doors, that fishy-ammonia smell hung in the air for *days* -- she'd reheat it on Friday, and even with everything running over the weekend (we ran 3 shifts, 7 days) -- it would still smack you in the face on Monday morning.

                                                                              The no-fish edict came after about the third episode -- we all adored her, so nobody wanted to hurt her feelings, but it was truly awful, and having a client walk in, hesitate, and wrinkle his nose was the final straw.

                                                                              1. Imo it was extremely selfish and inconsiderate.

                                                                                1. I talked to my husband about this because he works in a very culturally diverse atmosphere (he’s a scientist) they never “yuk” someone else’s “yum” when it comes to smelly stuff in the microwave. It’s just a fact ‘o life when where you work is like the U.N. and you literally have food from all nations being nuked in the microwaves.

                                                                                  Well, the weather is warming up a little here in the Delaware Valley so I guess I”ll just have to patient for my next bowl of bibimbap till it’s nice enough to sit out at the picnic table and slurp up my smelly delicious lunch!

                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: cgarner

                                                                                    there's a big gap between yucking someone else's yum and having to cope in a small professional office with something that smells like it shouldn't be eaten.

                                                                                    Fish, microwave popcorn, lots of things made with cabbage --- if it's nauseating to *anyone*, it's out of line and should be enjoyed at home. I love smelly cheese -- but wouldn't ever subject someone to the smell of a good ripe cheese in the office...I *know* it's offensive.

                                                                                    I'm not talking about the smell of spices -- I'm talking about things that someone finds physically offensive (ask most folks about the aroma of French andouillette cooking...it's the one food I cannot stand to even be in the same building with -- it literally turns my stomach and ruins my appetite....and I have as much right to be able to eat my lunch as the andouillette-eater.)

                                                                                    1. re: cgarner

                                                                                      Tolerance is a good thing and if they all tacitly agree to tolerate stank, more power to them. Don't know if I could keep my lip zipped. Same goes for deodorant. I could not suffer in silence ;-0

                                                                                      1. re: monavano

                                                                                        Wow- you just reminded me of something that I think needs to be said.

                                                                                        Don't get any ideas about spraying a so-called air freshener around thinking you'll get rid of microwave food odors!!! You'll just be making it much much worse.

                                                                                        My favorite aunt, on the subject of pine-scented air fresheners which were about the only kind you could get back in her day, usually used in bathrooms, said "It smells like somebody shit on a Christmas tree."

                                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                          Air "freshener"...how can anyone believe in it?

                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                            HAAAA!! Great laugh to start the morning ;-)

                                                                                            1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                              Air freshner no. But if something really stinky MUST be heated in the microwave, it does help for the offender to clean the inside of the microwave afterward and then heat up a cup of water with lemon in it. That tends to help with the smell, I've noticed.

                                                                                          2. re: cgarner

                                                                                            This. It's a slippery slope.

                                                                                            Long before fish or popcorn, I'd be banning eggs, pork, sausage, bacon and those foul microwave meals (speaking of chemicals!) but I'm not going to restrict someone else's lunches based on my personal preferences. That's just selfish.

                                                                                          3. "I was completely called out for heating fish up in the microwave at work.

                                                                                            Ok, so they made a joke of it, but I could tell that there was some resentment in that laughter. "

                                                                                            'I remember getting "the look" while eating Korean in the lunch room too'

                                                                                            Okay so we know going in that the poster was "called out" for what he/she heated, and that there was "some resentment." The poster has also gotten "the look" due to the poster's cooking habits at work.

                                                                                            It seems to me that if your cooking at work is causing "some resentment" among your co-workers, and that they are giving you the stink-eye over it, that this is a BAD thing.

                                                                                            Is it your STRATEGY to cause resentment among your co-workers? No?

                                                                                            I think the way to go is to ALTER YOUR COOKING HABITS while at work, to reduce the chance of causing further resentment. Others may disagree, and view the resentment as a positive thing, but based on my experience being resented by your co-workers is not a positive.

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: redfish62

                                                                                              At the same time, I find all the fast food crap that co-workers eat in the breakroom to smell nothing short of horrifying, but nobody's kvetching about that.....

                                                                                              1. re: dingey

                                                                                                but now that you bring it up...yeah.

                                                                                                1. re: dingey

                                                                                                  This reminds me of the game that my daughter plays with her friends: “Would you rather…”

                                                                                                  Would you rather smell microwave pop-corn or McDonalds?
                                                                                                  would you rather smell curry or kimchi

                                                                                                    1. re: cgarner

                                                                                                      the point of the whole thread being, however, to please be aware of what you're subjecting others to...whether it's greasy fries, goat cheese, kimchi, or that bottle of "Chanel No. 5" you bought from that guy at the flea market.

                                                                                                2. Here's an idea. Make a sandwich. Save your reheating for dinner. At home;-)

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                                                    I agree monavano. There was a time when people respected one another; it seems now we live in a time when people want to assert their rights over one another. Unfortunately people today think to back down from something like the situation at hand is a sign of weakness, when in reality it is a sign of compromise and respect.

                                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                      Well, the weather is warming up a little here in the Delaware Valley so I guess I”ll just have to patient for my next bowl of bibimbap till it’s nice enough to sit out at the picnic table and slurp up my smelly delicious lunch!

                                                                                                      I'm quoting myself here to show that I get that HEATING something up which has a smell that’s a turn off to most is off limits, but many days a week, lunch is my main meal of the day, I’m not working out and then coming home and eating a whole meal. The COMPROMISE as I mentioned above and others have mentioned before is to either not heat it up and/or take it outside so that it’s not overpowering anyone’s olfactory nerves… the compromise is not to tell others what they can and can’t eat for lunch (harsh)

                                                                                                  2. Apparently, it is also bad form to micro fish in the morning in my own kitchen...my spouse just gave me the "what for" earlier :(

                                                                                                    Apparently, a quick coffee warm up and fish don't go well together at 7 am.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                                                                      ugh. Fish at 7 am? I'm afraid I'm with your husband on that one.

                                                                                                      (I'll eat lox on a bagel, but that's not microwaved...or better not be!)

                                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                        I didn't talk back....it really WAS revolting ;)

                                                                                                      2. re: sedimental

                                                                                                        Fish and microwaves = not a good combo. And nobody loves fish more than I do.

                                                                                                      3. +1 Yup, faux pas. Although the lunchroom has quite a few smells in it, nuked fish is never good.

                                                                                                        1. I've always taken leftovers to reheat at work, and have a few personal taboos:
                                                                                                          NO -
                                                                                                          Which covers a good portion of my leftovers, but I can make a sandwich and reheat the pungent leftovers for a 'smorgasbord' night at home. Whether I have coworkers or customers in the office, it's just rude to fill the air with my lunch.
                                                                                                          Unless I am a little annoyed at the lady I work with, then just to tick her off..............;-)

                                                                                                          1. Forget the office, my SO knows that fish - specifically tunafish - is never to be made in my presence. The smell can literally make me dry-heave. One of these days I will successfully ban it from the house.....

                                                                                                            1. One time I reheated the previous night's dinner of pasta in a white wine cream sauce. I had made the sauce with glugs and glugs of white wine and when it heated up, the office was like "holy cow, is it happy hour?"
                                                                                                              White wine wafts.

                                                                                                              1. So, if I'm reading this right, it's inconsiderate and a sign of the paucity of the times that people eat strong-smelling food at work *unless* they are eating that food as part of their relationship to their heritage/ethnicity, in which case the complainer is a xenophobic WASPy jerk. Got it.

                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Raids

                                                                                                                  not sure you're really reading it right.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Raids

                                                                                                                    thats an interesting take.....not based on anything contained in this thread IMO....interesting none-the-less

                                                                                                                    1. re: joe777cool

                                                                                                                      Okay, okay, my point is that there is no universal agreement amongst humans on the issue of nasty-smelling food. There are common themes, but they are mostly culturally-determined. Since most of us are committed to the idea that something isn't wrong just because english-germanic protestants don't do it, we probably shouldn't rely on general group agreement, as determined by the predominant culture, to be the arbiter of what is inappropriate office food and what isn't.

                                                                                                                      Probably we should just have a break room with a microwave that isn't in anyone's office and reheat and eat our food there. For me, the problem is that people eat and prepare food at their desks more and more often, when we should probably just adopt a taboo against that, or get used to the idea of working in an office that smells like a kitchen.

                                                                                                                      Having said all that, if all of my coworkers were complaining about my lunch, I'd eat something else just for the sake of keeping the piece. Personally, I'd rather smell fish curry every day at work than listen to my officemate smack away, open-mouthed, at whatever he's eating for one more second.

                                                                                                                  2. I'd have thought it a faux pas to reheat fish ANYWHERE - what kind of fish is edible after reheating?

                                                                                                                    1. When I worked for a company in Atlanta (I won't say which one except that their headquarters were on Peachtree Street and their principle product went "ringy-dingy" and you picked it up and said "Hello?") one of our co-workers was an Oriental gentleman who brown-bagged his lunch every day. Most days his lunch was a pleasant waft of soy sauce but about once a week he brought something that smelled exactly like a wet dog. I had to leave the premises until the stench blew through. He was such a nice man and such a valuable team member that no one complained but still .....

                                                                                                                      1. Yup. Bad idea. No eating super stinky food at work. Besides, fish is one of those "just as good cold" kinda foods.

                                                                                                                        1. I have an entirely different reason to veto any re-heating of fish in a "common" microwave at work. Some people--myself included---have serious seafood allergies. The lingering smell can cause symptoms to flare up. I break out in hives and my throat begins to close if the smell is potent. I also would not be able to use that microwave until it has had a very good cleaning.