I must have the worst luck. Not only have I been feeling rather 'backed up*' lately but someone at work has also been stealing my sandwiches! I’m not looking for help on either of these issues individually, but rather on a potential problem I can see me facing if the two issues cross paths.
To alleviate my bowl based discomfort I have purchased some powdered, over the counter diuretics which, according to the packaging, are to be taken every time I eat or drink anything. Unfortunately I am quite forgetful when it comes to things like this and I really want to get my stomach back in working order so I am forward thinkingly going to add the appropriate dose to each of my sandwiches in the morning before work so that I don’t need to actively remember to take them at lunchtime. I considered taking my own milk with it added as well but decided milk could easily be confused as a shared item and used by others so have decided not to.
For the avoidance of confusion I am going to place 1 (maybe 2 depending how hungry I think I'll be) sandwiches ‘pre-administered’ with 1 dose of laxatives into the shared fridge at work.
Thankfully my lunch box is very distinctive and also has my name clearly visible on it so there is no chance it can be confused for anyone’s except mine. I'm not going to label them as containing medication because I don't want the people I work with knowing about my rather embarrassing illness (I'm only mentioning it here because it is fairly important to the question). I’m also not going to keep my food separate from other people’s so as to avoid people asking questions which may result in me having to reveal my illness or pretend that I am doing it because I fear the food thief (questions such as “Why are you keeping your lunch out of the fridge, are you letting the food thief win or is it laced with diuretics you are worried someone else will consume?”)
What I want to know is: what is the possible / likely fallout if someone eats my sandwich without my knowledge or consent and becomes ill (or cured depending on your perspective) as a result?
I thought I might find an answer in these questions which relate to food theft as I presumed at least one person on the internet would be crazy enough to recommend doing something like the above intentionally to catch the thief (which isn’t what I am doing) but neither this question here on milk theft or this question here on food theft has any such response.
This question on the Law SE site (mentioned in the comments by James) is the closest match I have seen so far but it deals specifically with the law and specifically with intentionally poisoning someone. Although I am interested in the legal side of things I know (now) that The Workplace isn’t the place for that so am interested in any other likely fallout.
A few things to note (clarifications from comments will also go here):
- I don’t think it is important as I am not looking for explicitly law related answers but I am based in the UK and would like UK (or comparable) based answer.
- I've read my contract and company policy and it mentions nothing about storing medication.
- I cannot ask my HR department about it directly because that would let them know about my embarrassing illness (which I have checked and I am under no obligation to disclose) and would make it harder to argue that it wasn’t intentional if someone does eat it. (Some people may get hung up on the fact that I am asking here which in turn makes it appear pre-mediated / intentional so if this is an issue please imagine I’ve wrote the question in the third person about a third co-worker who is keeping their pre-medicated lunch in the fridge without telling anyone.)
- I don't want to make the question too broad but feel free to mention if the item in the sandwich makes a difference. What if it wasn't medication but was instead chillies, hot sauce, loogies, depleted uranium...
- Yes, this is a serious question
but no I don't actually plan on doing this, it is purely hypothetical.and as The Workplace doesn’t like hypotheticals you can assume I am actually going to do this.
- Please do not be mislead by the title, I am not setting out to poison the person stealing my food. It is just something that I am aware is a possible outcome and I want more information about what is likely to happen if it turns out to be the actual outcome.
Finally, I’ve done considerable revision to the question as a result of comments with the aims of getting it open again, please be aware that some comments or answers may not make as much sense now although I have tried to keep the crux of the question the same. The revision history is there if you are interested.