Why Is my fridge freezing food?

Written by nicole papagiorgio
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Why Is my fridge freezing food?
Frozen food in a fridge can be due to a thermometer problem. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

On occasion, you may find that food items in your fridge are frozen or too cold when the fridge should only be keeping them cool. If the food in your fridge is freezing, the refrigerator is being kept too cold. There are two major causes of a fridge freezing food instead of only keeping it cool.

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Vent placement

At the back of most refrigerator models there is a vent where the cold air comes out to keep all of the food cool. If food is kept too close to this vent, it may become too cold and eventually freeze. Keep your fridge full for maximum vent efficiency, but keep food at least 12.5 cm (5 inches) away from the vent to prevent freezing.

Internal thermostat

The internal fridge thermostat may be broken if the food in the fridge is freezing. The proper fridge temperature is anywhere below 4.44 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit) but above freezing, which is 0 degrees C (32 degrees Fahrenheit). The refrigerator has an internal thermostat that should automatically keep the fridge at the proper temperature by turning the fridge cooling on if it gets too hot. If the thermostat is broken or set to keep the fridge at the incorrect temperature, it may keep the fridge too cold. Thermostats can be reset manually; however, you may need to replace the one in your fridge if you have it set at what appears to be a proper temperature but food keeps freezing.

Problems

Most refrigerated foods, such as milk or other beverages, dairy products and leftovers, can be frozen easily and thawed in the fridge without problems if the fridge does freeze any food. However, foods such as fruits and vegetables can lose their texture, become soft or spongy and spoil more easily if they are frozen or semifrozen and thawed.

Service

If neither the thermometer nor the vent placement seems to be the problem, your fridge may need to be serviced by a technician. There could be a coolant leak or other problems with the fridge that cannot be fixed or adjusted at home, but in many cases may be covered by the manufacturer's warranty.

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