Hide Lunch From Office Thieves In Healthy Meal Boxes

Here’s a potentially even better idea for protecting your lunch from thieves in the office than the fake moldy ziploc bags. Commenter Snaptastic suggests that you stash it inside a box of “healthy,” i.e. “gross,” food like a Weight Watchers, or, as commenter Murph1908 recommended, a Hot Pockets.

(We don’t really need to go into why Hot Pockets are Satan bullets, do we?)

See, the problem with the first idea is that coworkers, whether thieves or not thieves, might toss out your lunch thinking it’s actually moldy, leaving you just as sans lunch as if it were stolen. With this method, they’ll avoid your lunch entirely. But what if they’re really super hungry and try to jack your lunch anyway? Then you put your sandwich inside a fake moldy bag, inside a Weight Watchers box.

Anti-Theft Lunch Bags Make Thieves Think Your Sandwich Is Moldy


Edit Your Comment

  1. Buddha says:

    How about catching the thieves and punching them in the dick.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    I believe I gave this exact same suggestion in the 3rd-4th line of comments.

    • Anathema777 says:

      Yeah, Murph’s comment was actually in response to yours. It’s a good idea; sorry you’re not getting credit!

  3. Michaela says:

    It would have the negative effect where I live. All the girls here would rather have the lower calorie meal. I guess a Hungry-Man meal box would work though…

  4. Jasen says:

    That’s very sneaky. If only my lunch containers would fit into such a box. They’re pretty small.

    The last time I ever had a problem with chronic lunch theft, I solved it by making some ridiculously hot sandwiches. (a little habanero juice in your tuna salad can make it rather unpalatable for most people) I think they learned to avoid my lunch bags after that.

    • jkinatl2 says:

      THAT sounds like a terrific idea. Nothing so awful as Ex-Lax or ipecac in the stuff, but enough to deter. Though I wonder if one could be charged for poisoning people if they stole, then consumed, bad food?

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        In the case of hot sauce I imagine one could just state that’s how they always make it, and too bad the thief didn’t like it.

      • Jasen says:

        If you add something to the food for the purpose of making someone sick, yes. Chemicals, medication, spoilage–stuff that could actually harm someone. They’d have a hard time nailing you for just having “spicy” food though.

        I have to say though, when my food was being stolen, it was hard to resist the urge to plant an ipecac-spiked sandwich. It would have been satisfying to see the thief projectile vomiting.

    • layton59 says:

      One might put 1 or 2 ground up NIACIN tablets in their food or drink. The thief will get what feels like a really bad sunburn. A bottle of niacin tablets is sold cheaply at many stores in the vitamin section.

    • jefeloco says:

      A former subordinate of mine was the ongoing victim of lunch theft. He always brought in sandwiches made with leftovers from the night before on home made bread. One day during our morning meeting, he told me that whoever took his food that day was going to regret it something fierce; that day his sandwich was canned Alpo and Tabasco.

      Sure enough, by 11:00 the food was gone but as far as I could tell no one complained about anything or went home sick. Dave never had anyone steal his food again.

  5. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Some people are just jerks who steal for the thrill of doing it, or they just want to eat other people’s food and they’re not too discriminatory. Plus, Smart Ones are probably more likely to be consumed by women and women steal food too. And there are people in this world who actually like Hot Pockets. I don’t know who, but they exist.

  6. brandy says:

    But people love Hot Pockets (“the car radio of the communal freezer”)! http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/2007/05/29/i-swear-this-isnt-some-kind-of-stealth-viral-marketing-campaign/

  7. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    At my office, an unmarked frozen meal would be a more likely target (usually inadvertently) than a random sandwich in a ziplock bag. I really don’t think a “healthy” meal would scare anyone off — the Lean Cuisine frozen meals (esp. the pizzas) are actually pretty good.

  8. Balaenoptera says:

    I can only read “hot pocket” in jim gaffigan’s high whisperish voice.

  9. JulesNoctambule says:

    A friend of mine had this problem at work for a while. She took to leaving a little note on her food — ‘I know which side the cat licked. Do you?’ — and the incidents ceased.

  10. rpm773 says:

    “Someone left this frozen dinner box in the refrigerator. It’s probably all thawed and bad now. I’ll throw it out.”

  11. savashley says:

    I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoy hot pockets! Only every once in a while though.

  12. Daverson says:

    I recommend using the box from a Banquet Cheesy Smothered Meat Patty meal. They not only taste disgusting, but even the box art looks like someone vomited on a flattened turd.


  13. enomosiki says:

    1. Place a hidden camcorder and have it filming so that it will be able to catch the culprit in act.


    2. Get yourself a remotely activate alarm, something like remote control or lost key locator, and plant it discreetly inside your food container. If you can time it right, you will be able to set it off and locate the thief while s/he’s busy consuming the food.

    The final solution. Give the bastard a healthy serving of knuckle sandwich.

  14. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Don’t need no stealthify your lunch if you just


  15. bobosgirl says:
  16. aloria says:

    My recommendation is, instead of going through all this effort to keep someone from stealing your lunch, is to put that same amount of effort into finding the culprit and making sure they are punished by management.

    People who steal others’ food are the worst kinds of people, just fire their asses.

    • El-Brucio says:

      A nice idea, but it is almost impossible to catch a lunch thief in most modern offices because none of the food is secured and it’s essentially an “honor system”.

      I suppose it could work with a particularly stupid lunch thief who steals the same thing every day. You could set up a “bait” item and then check it every time someone has been alone in the lunch room. But if they don’t have a preference, and don’t do it every day, you are pretty much out of luck unless you install a camera in the break room, which would then cause it’s own set of problems.

  17. laughingisfree says:

    I hide my lunch in a locked Pelican Case. http://www.pelican.com/cases_detail.php?Case=1120

  18. dg says:

    My dad worked at a large corp in IT and people kept stealing his lunch, taking juice boxes, etc. He brought some chocolate milk and they took that too. So what we did was to inject some exlax into the chocolate milk – a LOT of exlax.

    The person who was committing the crime was readily apparent – he was in the bathroom ALL day. He was approached by security, and HR -= removed from the building permanently.

    Yeah, someone could die, get real sick, etc. so you want to be careful with these little tricks. Another one that’s fairly tame (although I suppose someone could have an allergic reaction) is to put methylene blue into a drink, or some food. Then when they eat it, it turns their urine blue. Start a rumor about how there’s a new flu virus going around, turns your urine blue, you get really ill a day or so later, end up vomiting heavily, etc… Then watch the fun ensue when the food thief think’s he’s got the flu…

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      As fun as that kind of stuff is, you need to be very careful as you’re potentially opening yourself and your company up to potential legal issues.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        I’d LOVE to be in the courtroom for that case. I pity the judge that upholds the rights of a lunch thief over the hungry victims.

        • dreamfish says:

          You could try arguing that you *intentionally* put ex-lax in the choc milk because of personal health ‘issues’ and the thief stole it on the day you seemed to have put a bit too much in.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          It’s the same reason you can’t booby trap your own property.

          If somebody “accidentally” eats your lunch, gets incredibly sick (from the ipacac or laxative), and then goes to the hospital for an unknown poisoning, they’re going to get a lot of sympathy. A lawsuit is unlikely but it’s really not worth putting any assets in jeopardy over a $2 sandwich.

          It’s a lot easier to just stick with cayenne pepper or some other (non-pharmaceutical) potentially unappetizing food product. Though, I think the best course of action is to quit being passive aggressive and bring up the problem during a staff meeting.

    • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

      Where I work there was an older gentleman that kept pickles in the fridge for a snack. He got tired of them being poached and called everyone together one morning (small shop, not too hard to do).

      He told everyone that he was tired of someone stealing his pickles, so he urinated in the jar. And you could believe it from this guy. Well, when the one guy got out of the restroom he told him that he did not, but that he better stop stealing his food. From that day forward, no food was stolen.

  19. Pandrogas says:

    Or line the package with something like cayenne pepper (not on the food of course). Works on cats, might work on senseless humans.

  20. zibby says:

    Where the hell do people work where this is consistently a problem? I dunno, maybe I’m lucky.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I’ve worked at many places over the course of my career and it’s never been a problem anywhere I’ve worked. When refrigerators are cramped, the occasional soda or boxed lunch might get taken (probably by accident) but that’s easily solved with a sharpie.

      I can’t imagine somebody intentionally stealing something like a sandwich. Judging by the number of coworkers who don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom, I can’t believe that their homemade bologna sandwiches would ever be a hot commodity.

    • marlathetourist says:

      I have seen this happen at a few of the law firms I have worked for. Usually its the attorneys that are the ones caught stealing. After student loans junior attorneys actually dont really make very much money, plus they are generally kinda spazzy people to start with. I remember one day walking in the break room on an attorney gorging himself from a deli tray that was supposed to be for an afternoon meeting. The look on his face was priceless.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      This has never been a problem at any of the places I’ve worked, but it is a problem for a lot of people.

    • colorisnteverything says:

      I don’t know because I have never worked somewhere where this happens. The big place I worked was a food service place and there was always free food, so I am sure my healthy lunch was really less appeaing there. When I worked at a non-for-profit, there were about 50 employees in the one office and no one stole my healthy lunch there. But it was always expensive stuff. And then when I worked at a smaller office, no one stole. It would have been easy to rule one person out thanks to celiac’s disease.

    • El-Brucio says:

      One of my old workplaces was open 24 hours, with lots of people working different shifts. You couldn’t reliably leave something in the fridge to be eaten the next day because of food thieves. It wasn’t just lunches – a lot of workers would bring in a carton of creme or milk for their coffee and write their name on it only to find it empty the next day.

      Maybe you worked for smaller companies? I think food thievery is more common with large companies due to statistics and anonymity.

  21. olderbudwizer says:

    Be Blatant! put your sammie in a clear plastic bag with a BITE TAKEN OUT OF IT already!

  22. denros says:

    If I’m bringing lunch from home it’s usually leftovers. I cook with spicy food a lot, so if I were worried about people stealing my food, I’d just throw in a couple extra arbol chilies. Generally, this would be enough to discourage any subsequent food burglary.

  23. Kevinsky says:

    Buy a nice canvas lunch bag and put your name on it. People are less likely to steal when they know who they’re stealing from, and they’re less likely to steal if they have to mess with fiddly zippers on a recognizable lunch bag. More likely to get caught in the act.

    Also, poison it.

  24. tbail25 says:

    This is pointless for where I work. We have thefts of every kind of food, from Jimmy John sandwiches to Healthy Choice/Smart Ones.

  25. SlyPhox says:

    I like the idea of putting Tijuana Flat’s “Endorphin Rush” all over your lunch which should prevent any further theft… Then again… It might kill the person…. I’m fine with that.

  26. Span_Wolf says:

    Food thieves are such jerks, it should be an immediate firing if you get caught. I don’t care, it’s blatant theft that shows absolute disrespect for your co-workers.

  27. mystery79 says:

    A lot of people at my work eat Healthy Choice or Lean Cuisine. It’s not really as effective a deterrent as people suggest.

    A couple of years ago there was a lunch thief who struck randomly. From what I recall said thief always targeted lunches in brown bags – probably because it’s non descript and lots of people use it, wouldn’t consider it suspicious seeing someone walking by with one. One unlucky co-worker got hit 3 or 4 times and was not happy about it.

    As far as I know the lunch theft has stopped – seems like maybe he or she graduated to actual theft of property because the nintendo 64 and xbox in our break room went missing without a trace a few months ago.

  28. sprocket79 says:

    Smart Ones aren’t necessarily “healthy,” but they are lower in calories. Still have a load of sodium though.

  29. Disappointed says:

    My mom actually has a great story about office food theft. Years ago, she bought an ice cream cake for a co-worker’s birthday celebration. Of course, she put it in the office freezer. When she came back later to take it out, she found a huge bite mark in the side of the cake!

    I mean, okay, if you want to filch some cake, at least take a knife and cut yourself a piece instead of picking the whole thing up and just taking a bite.

  30. colorisnteverything says:

    But I like those “healthy” meals because in a rush, they aren’t too much food. I really love the healthy choice meals – the cafe steamers. Great in a pinch. Easy to make at the office. And I have yet to find anything in a boxed meal that is A. cheaper B. healthier.

  31. majortom1981 says:

    What if your a male it worker working with all women i na library and its the women who steal your lunch? Hiding it in a healthy box would not work.

  32. ITDEFX says:

    I really don’t understand why people do this shit. Why don’t people leave other people’s food alone? For most people, they look forward to atleast 30 minutes of a break, most of which is slept heating it up and blabbing to other co-workers which leaves you mostly less than 15 minutes to eat/swallow it and get back to your duties. People who get a lunch “Hour” are spoiled. I’ve never had a lunch hour in my life. 30 minutes is all I get so leave me and my food the fuck alone.

    I really don’t understand the mentality of these people…”oh it looks good so I am gonna eat it..”

    • fordpickup says:

      You know, I thought the same thing. I guess I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never worked at a place where this happens. It’s weird. Like, really friggin’ weird. Who are these people? What would their mom think?

  33. Intheknow says:

    I think those really cheap pot pie boxes would work. You’d have to be pretty darn hungry to want one of those! Hot pockets? Hey, I LOVE those. They’re pretty close to actual food if you make them right.

  34. Joseph S Ragman says:

    Three words: Cat. Turd. Sammich.

  35. outlulz says:

    This wouldn’t work in my office where all the women eat are salads and frozen Weight Watchers meals.

  36. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    I use a similar tactic at home. When I want to hid frozen goodies so the family doesn’t devour them all at once, I hide them under the frozen broccoli and brussels sprouts. When someone is looking for a quick tasty snack, that usually deters them.

    I can’t even imagine eating someone else’s food at work. Say I’m making a PB&J for myself at home. I might get some peanut butter on my finger, so I lick it off, then put the top piece of bread on the sandwich, and into the plastic zippy bag. If I touch my sandwich after licking my finger, eewwww – others might do the same to theirs. Something to think about.

  37. zekebullseye says:

    Put a mousetrap in your lunchbag-you know it’s there and you can avoid it by dumping out the contents of the bag rather than reaching in with your fingers. A poacher, on ther other hand would be in for a surprise. Screams from the breakroom would reveal the thief. I wish I could try that. No poachers where I work.

  38. Bog says:

    I will always remember the sign on the break-room fridge where I use to work…

    “Where the fark are you working?
    Think about it.
    Is really a good idea to
    Steal people’s lunches?”

  39. haggis for the soul says:

    Even if you put your lunch in a Haggis with Prunes dinner box, there will still be a haggis and prune-loving lunch stealer out there somewhere.

  40. CalicoGal says:

    This made me think of the way we’d sneak small or disposable cameras into concerts where none were allowed– put said camera into a Tampax box– the 10-pak size usually was perfect.

    When the bag-searchers look in your purse, they ain’t messing with no Tampax box!

  41. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    My solution to this was to get a lunch box that had dual zippers, then use a mini luggage lock to lock the zippers together. A lot of others in my workplace, tired of all the food thievery started doing the same thing.

  42. MrEvil says:

    I usually try to make my food I bring to work as spicy as possible. Spicy for me to still consider tasty, but too spicy for your average human, a bit more passive aggressive.

    If a thief can stand the heat, that’s when I resort to plan B which is bring a lunch I don’t plan on consuming and sabotage it with Laxative. That’ll learn a lunch thief right quick to not fuck with my lunch!

  43. RonYnz says:

    My Healthy Choice meal was stolen at work by some gym rat. He had been stealing lunches so I set a trap and caught him. He quit soon after.

  44. AndroidHumanoid says:

    No one has stolen any of my food/drinks from the staff fridge.. But if it became a problem, I would use a nifty little agent called Gastrograffin. Clear and odorless, it makes the small and large intestine ‘glow’ in x-rays and catscans.. Then its sends the culprit into major hershey squirts mode.. Aaahh.. Hospital life. Would be nice to even find out the culprit checked into the ER for abdomen pain, only for the doc to discover the culprits glowing bowels on an x-ray.. Muahahahaha!!

  45. BillyDeeCT says:

    While not as clever as the disguised box ploy, we did teach a co-worker never to pilfer snacks from people’s lunches again.

    One of the guy’s wives made a batch of cupcakes with ex lax frosting. We secretly followed the guy home and he was stopping at almost every service station to keep from soiling himself. Needless to say we never stole anything from anybody’s lunch ever again while he worked with us.

  46. jenjenjen says:

    I’m very tempted to leave sabotaged bait lunches in the fridge. Like a vaseline sandwich or a pasta salad with dish detergent for dressing. The thing that stops me is I know *I* would forget and try to eat it.