Archaeology in the communal refrigerator

If there’s one scary thing about working, it’s the common kitchen area. On each floor of the research tower where my lab is located, there is a small area at the end of the hall with a sink, coffee maker, refrigerator, and some cabinets. These areas are all too rarely cleaned out. Last week, for some reason, an intrepid lab rat decided that the refrigerator on my lab’s floor needed a cleaning. She found this:


So far, so what? Right? There’s nothing unusual there. Someone forgot their Slimfast. Then she turned over the can (click image for larger version):


Expiration date: July 2004. I love it.

The question is: Has this refrigerator not been cleaned out since 2004? Or has it been periodically cleaned out, with the person doing the cleaning neatly replacing the expired and increasingly ancient can of Slim-Fast right back where it was found?

I vote #2. I have to. #1 is too scary to contemplate, even though my office is not on the same floor as my lab. (Don’t get me started there…)