Each of us has had the misfortune of opening the refrigerator to see our priceless box of blueberries frozen. Food that has been unintentionally frozen may be dangerous, whether it be fruit, vegetables, meat, or even dairy. Your perishables may still be edible (particularly if you’re heating them), but the expansion of water molecules brought on by freezing may radically change your cuisine.
However, there are a few precautions you can take to avoid inadvertent food freezing before you scream at your refrigerator and tear your hair out. We’ll go through each safety measure for every refrigerator compartment, from the crisper drawer to the top shelf. Although we can’t promise you won’t need a repairman, you’ll at least be able to rule out the more apparent issues.
1. Check the Fridge Settings
Before you do anything, check your fridge’s temperature settings. The dial isn’t always the most accurate method of regulating temperature, so even if it seems like it’s sufficiently high there may be other factors conspiring to freeze your food.
If the temperature setting is too low, then you’ll obviously want to turn it up a bit. Just be careful you don’t set it too high. (The ideal set temperature range for the interior of your fridge is 38-42°F.) The last thing you want is for your food to get too warm and become a haven for bacteria and other opportunistic microbes.
If your fridge is getting old or not that good to begin with, using a separate thermometer may give you a more accurate reading. You can find cheap analog thermometers or fancier digital wireless versions that allow you to monitor the temperature without even opening the door.