Too-Cold Refrigerators Are Just As Bad For Food As Too-Warm Appliances

21 January 2015
 Categories: , Blog


If you cook a lot, you know the importance of keeping refrigerated food cold. If the fridge starts to malfunction and warm up, even a little, the food can warm up into the danger zone, increasing the chances that harmful bacteria will multiply. However, did you know that making food too cold can be a problem as well? Freezing won't make foods dangerous, but it can change the texture of foods and affect how well recipes made with the food turn out. If you find that your refrigerator has started running too cold -- to the point where refrigerated items are becoming frozen -- you have to get the fridge fixed. If you don't, the changes experienced by the food inside will really limit what you can do with the items, and that might lead you to throw out the food.

Freezing Is OK Safety-wise, but Food Texture Will Change

Most foods are still usable after freezing, but you'll lose a lot of flexibility when it comes to what you can make with the food. If the only things you can make with the food are things you don't like, then that food is essentially wasted.

For example, cheese freezes very well. Freezing is actually a fantastic way to preserve cheese -- if you buy a huge block of it on sale, for example, and don't think you'll be able to eat all of it before it starts to go bad, you can cut up or grate half of it and store that in the freezer, where expiration dates are no longer a problem. However, the texture of the cheese, once thawed, will become crumblier and more grainy than refrigerated, nonfrozen cheese. You can use the cheese for dishes that call for it melted or cooked, but you won't be able to eat it straight, without cooking.

Obviously, that's not a problem if you love foods like grilled cheese. But if you don't (and you'd never buy so much cheese that you'd have to freeze part of it), then you're stuck with cheese you can't eat. It's not going to have the right "mouthfeel" if you try to eat it thawed on a cracker, for example.

Fruit is another example. A firm, fresh strawberry is a delight to eat out of hand, but a thawed, previously frozen strawberry is a mushy mess. It might still taste good, but biting into it will not be as easy -- you're better off eating it with a spoon. If you were looking forward to eating some fresh berries with breakfast, and you find them frozen by a malfunctioning fridge thermostat, you're not going to be very satisfied.

Fix It Before It Gets Worse

If you start to see this happening with the food in your refrigerator, call an appliance repair company quickly. Not only will you be able to store food normally again, once the refrigerator is fixed, but you will prevent potentially worse things from happening, such as the fridge failing completely. If that were to happen, none of your food would survive -- and your freezer compartment might be affected, too.