Does Food Get Moldy in the Freezer? Food is a perishable item, therefore we must store it properly to extend its shelf life as much as possible. Storing in the refrigerator is one way of storing food that is widely used these days.
However, some people wonder whether the food in the refrigerator is moldy. This is because when food is stored it often causes mold or a white surface of the food which indicates that mold is starting to grow. Mold in food causes spoilage, loss of taste, discoloration and so on.
So, now that most of us store food in the refrigerator or even the freezer, can mold grow there too? It’s true, mold could grow and infect the food there if you don’t maintain thorough cleanliness.
Does Food Get Moldy in Freezer?
At very cold temperatures, it turns out that there are also certain microbes that can form there, these microbes are cryophiles, they can grow at very cold temperatures such as at 5°F (-15°C). This is also the reason why freezing for too long is not recommended.
Each food certainly has its own limit for storing in the refrigerator or freezer. Frozen food also cannot be stored forever, there are limitations that require it to be used completely or it will rot and have to be thrown away.
Most fungi grow in warm temperatures, such as when you leave food out in the open air for a certain period of time. Frozen food also has limitations, if you buy frozen food at the store, there are instructions for storing it at the maximum temperature or how long the food will last and the rest must be thrown away.
Here we will explain how to keep food from getting moldy. If you think freezers and refrigerators are safe forever and don’t grow mold, then this is wrong and here we will give you the best way to store food to avoid mold.
What is moldy food and what does it look like?
Mold is a type of function and it can form in food under certain conditions. For example, liquid food or food that has been exposed to liquid will be susceptible to the formation of mold. Likewise with food that you should store in cold conditions such as in the refrigerator, when stored at room temperature it tends to easily form mold.
Mold in food is not something that is invisible but can be seen with the naked eye and looks like spots or spots, or spores that are gray or reddish, black and so on. Mold that has formed on food can cause the food to change its color, taste and texture. Meanwhile, the fungal spores are in the form of dust. If you blow on it, sometimes it will come off and we usually see these spores on white bread that has expired.
Is it dangerous to eat moldy food?
Yes, moldy food can be dangerous to your health, so when you see food that has been infected with mold, you should throw it away and keep it away from other food so that it doesn’t infect other food.
Why are mold dangerous? because mold contains dangerous bacteria and these form mycotoxins (toxic chemicals that infect food making it unsafe to eat). Among the mycotoxins, the most common is Aflatoxin and this is mostly formed in corn and peanuts. If this fungus is swallowed or this mycotoxin enters the body, it can cause cancer. This often forms in areas with extreme hot conditions.
So, now you know why eating moldy food is not safe for your health. It turns out there are mycotoxins which are dangerous for the body.
More about mold in food, some of us see this mold only on the surface of the food and we are still tempted to eat the food by throwing away the visible part of the mold. In fact, mold does not only form on the surface of food, but it forms deep inside the food or takes root in the food. So, if you see any food infected with mold, just throw it away rather than risk your health.
Among the health problems that occur due to consuming moldy food are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergies and so on.
Are All Kinds of Molds Harmful to Eat?
We already know that mold that infects food is dangerous to eat, but are all types of mold dangerous?
OK, some mold are not dangerous to eat, even the food industry uses certain molds to produce food. This includes cheese, making cheese using a mold called Penicillium. This mold is not dangerous because it does not produce mycotoxins.
However, this does not mean that Penicillium is completely harmless. It all also depends on the type of food where it is grown. This mold is not dangerous if it forms on blue cheese, but it will still be dangerous if it forms on fresh cheese.
Ways to Keep your Foods from Getting Moldy in the Freezer
We know that food can get moldy in the freezer or refrigerator, so we need to keep the refrigerator clean and dry to prevent bacteria and mold from growing there.
If food can also become moldy in the freezer, then how do you secure the food so it doesn’t get moldy in the freezer?
Here we will look at how to store food and prevent it from getting moldy so that the shelf life of the food is longer.
In general, the food industry has taken measures to prevent mold such as using food preservatives. The use of this preservative is to prevent the formation of dangerous bacteria and fungi, but the preservative itself also has side effects.
Now let’s discuss some tips that you can do to preserve your food so that it lasts a long time.
1. Clean your freezer or refrigerator Periodically
Storing food in the freezer or refrigerator can indeed preserve and make food last longer. However, we need to know that temperatures that are too cold can also grow microbes called cryophilic and mold. So, the way to avoid our food being contaminated with these bad things is to clean our freezer and refrigerator regularly. Clean the refrigerator and freezer regularly, especially corners and other hard-to-reach parts.
2. Store food in airtight containers
Then when you store food in the refrigerator or freezer, use an airtight container to avoid bacterial and fungal contamination.
You can use one of these containers: Ziploc bags, glass containers, plastic boxes and others.
3. Don’t let any water spill in the freezer or refrigerator
Spilling water in the freezer when defrosting manually can cause mold to grow.
Check your freezer to see if there is any water spillage, if there is, your refrigerator has the potential to be contaminated with mold. So, try taking all the food out of the refrigerator and making a vinegar solution in a spray bottle. Spray the inside of the refrigerator several times and then wipe the wet areas using a tissue. Repeat the spray several times until everything is clean.
4. Storing food suitable for cold temperatures
A refrigerator as a place to store food doesn’t mean you can store all types of food. So, there are certain types of food that can be stored in the refrigerator and there are foods that should not be stored in the refrigerator.
Among the foods that do not need to be stored in the freezer include bread, honey, coffee beans, peanuts, garlic, potatoes, cucumbers. These foods should only be stored at room temperature because storing them in cold temperatures will only cause them to spoil.
5. Throw away food that has gone bad
To prevent the food get moldy in freezer or refrigerator, we have to clean the fridge from spoiled foods within. If you see damaged food in the refrigerator, don’t hesitate to throw it away. This food not only spreads a rancid odor but can also speed up the spoilage of other foods. Bacterial and fungal contamination can also spread to other foods.
6. Using food that spoils quickly
Food that spoils quickly should be finished first. If there is fish that lasts two days, then finish it first and then use the fish you just saved. Other foods are like that too, see what foods are old and will soon spoil, then use those foods first.
7. Clean the refrigerator or freezer with clean material
Don’t clean your refrigerator or freezer with dirty materials because it will only make your refrigerator dirtier and create more bacteria. But always use clean materials such as clean sponges, and never use materials that you doubt are clean.
How to Handle Food Contaminated with Mold, Mild and Severe
There are foods that if exposed to mold can still be consumed, of course if the damage to the food is not too serious, and this depends on whether the food is soft or hard.
Soft fruit and vegetables such as strawberries and cucumbers should be thrown away immediately if they are rotting due to fungus or bacteria. Likewise with jelly, bread and yogurt. However, there are certain hard foods that if some of them are exposed to mold, others can still be eaten, such as hard cheese.
You simply throw away the part that has spores or the part that is experiencing fungal growth, and the rest can be eaten as usual. Apart from cheese, foods like this are apples, carrots and coconut and several other foods.
Bonus Safety Tips
If you find food that is infected with mold, such as spores, don’t smell it, because it can cause health problems. So not only are you not allowed to eat moldy food, but you are not allowed to touch it, or kiss it.
Conclusion: Does Food Get Moldy in the Freezer and Refrigerator?
It is true that food can become moldy even if it is stored in the freezer or refrigerator, especially if the refrigerator is not cleaned or kept clean regularly.
Follow the guide on how to prevent food from getting moldy when stored in the freezer or refrigerator. Furthermore, if you find moldy food, don’t eat it if it is soft food, such as bread, cucumbers, etc. However, if the food includes hard foods such as apples, coconut, hard cheese, then you can still eat them, throw away the moldy parts and eat the parts that are still good.