Food can be kept fresh in the freezer for months, years, or even indefinitely. As a result, can mold grow in the freezer? Are you concerned about the potential health risks that such mold buildup may pose?
You can rely on your freezer to keep perishable food items safe. Your freezer, on the other hand, cannot do it alone. It’s also critical that you do everything possible to ensure that your freezer can do its job of keeping its contents from spoiling, which is why you shouldn’t stop reading right now in this post, you’ll learn how mold can grow in the freezer and what you can do to prevent it.
Can mold grow in the freezer?
Mold can grow in the freezer if it is not working properly, is unplugged for an extended period of time, or is opened and closed frequently. Mold can only be deactivated, not destroyed, by freezing at low temperatures. When the temperature in the freezer rises, the mold reactivates and is given the opportunity to grow and reproduce.
Mold does not die in the freezer. Instead, the freezer puts mold in suspended animation, preventing it from multiplying. Mold becomes active and capable of proliferating again once the temperature rises to a conducive level, which is between 60°F and 80°F (16°C and 27°C).
Mold can be killed by a variety of agents. The vast majority of them, however, are not food-grade — what’s the point of killing mold in food only to replace it with harmful and toxic chemicals?
Mold cannot survive in extreme temperatures. In fact, it will die if exposed to temperatures ranging from 140°F to 160°F (60°C to 71°C). For this reason, many professional mold removal service companies use heat treatment to ensure that their clients’ homes are mold-free.
Mold, on the other hand, can survive low temperatures, including temperatures below freezing.
Avoid assuming that your freezer is completely useless because it cannot destroy mold. While it cannot kill mold, it can deactivate it; it is by inhibiting mold activity that it can keep perishables fresh.
In other words, as long as the food product is stored in your freezer, it is safe from mold contamination. It doesn’t matter if you put it in the freezer mold-free or with some mold on it; your freezer will keep it from spoiling due to mold or any other microbe.
What Causes Mold Growth in the Freezer?
Mold can grow in the presence of moisture in the freezer, which is usually caused by a malfunction or defrosting. Mold can grow on frozen foods and the freezer itself if the freezer is opened frequently.
Just because a freezer can keep food from becoming moldy doesn’t mean it can always do its job.
It is still possible for perishable food products stored in the freezer to become moldy in some cases. Mold growth can start in one item and spread to neighboring items and even the freezer wall.
Because it is the low temperatures inside a freezer that allow the kitchen appliance to prevent mold, it is critical to ensure that your freezer is capable of performing the primary function for which it was designed. Otherwise, any food product you keep in it will spoil, resulting in food and money waste.
Here are some of the most common causes of mold formation in the freezer:
Mold can grow in a freezer that isn’t working properly and thus can’t maintain ideal temperatures. A freezer in poor condition will be unable to reach and maintain the temperatures required to keep food from spoiling. A loud or hot motor, ice or condensation formation, and unnecessary food spoilage are all indicators that your freezer needs to be serviced.
#2. Defrosting while keeping the door closed
When defrosting your freezer, make sure to leave the door open from beginning to end. Mold can easily grow and multiply in an increasingly warm environment with pools of water — any thawing items in the freezer being defrosted can easily become contaminated.
#3. Power outage or unplugging
If you leave the freezer unplugged for an extended period of time, mold may form as the temperature inside rises. In the event of a power outage, it’s best to keep the freezer door closed as much as possible to keep the contents safe until the power is restored.
#4. Opening occurs frequently
Consider opening the freezer door as little as possible, especially if the food products you just placed in the freezer are packed with moisture. The goal is to allow the freezer to do its job of freezing them as quickly as possible, which frequent freezer opening can prevent.
Is it possible for black mold to grow in the refrigerator and freezer?
A refrigerator can be prone to any type of mold, including black mold, which produces toxic compounds such as mycotoxins.
Furthermore, black mold in refrigerators can cause serious health problems such as sinus problems, coughing, asthma, and allergies, and it is especially dangerous to pregnant women, people with asthma, people with weakened immune systems, and children.
Although it is uncommon for black mold to grow in your freezer, it is not impossible because all molds require moisture to grow.
Furthermore, if the freezer is not airtight and the freezer door is frequently opened and closed, moisture enters, allowing mold to grow.
However, moisture is sucked out by the coil in a normal air-tight freezer, so black mold cannot grow.
How long does mold take to grow in a freezer?
Mold grows quickly in the freezer if the environment is conducive to the growth of mold.
Furthermore, if the humidity, temperature, and moisture are conducive to mold growth, it will only take one or two days for the mold to fully develop in the freezer.
What is the best way to clean a moldy freezer?
A moldy freezer must be manually defrosted and emptied of its contents before it can be cleaned. Allow 20 minutes for full-strength vinegar to be sprayed onto moldy surfaces and areas in the freezer. After that, scrub the freezer with a baking soda solution or soapy water.
Immediately removing a moldy item from the freezer and discarding it can save the rest of the food products in the freezer from the same fate.
It’s a completely different story if the mold is in the freezer itself.
When you notice that your freezer is moldy, you must act quickly — you must completely rid the freezer of mold before attempting to store food items in it. Otherwise, any perishables you store in the freezer are likely to spoil, making you and your family sick.
Fortunately, there is no need to contact a professional mold removal service company and pay top dollar. You simply need to follow these expert-recommended steps:
Remove everything from the freezer
If your freezer is moldy, the contents are likely to be moldy as well. That is why it is best to discard food products that are no longer sealed in their original packaging.
Unplug and defrost the appliance
Manually defrosting your freezer is required in order to expose all mold-infested surfaces. Keep the door open while defrosting and clean up any water on the floor right away.
Spritz with vinegar
In extreme cases, spray the freezer with full-strength vinegar and leave it for about 20 minutes. In mild to moderate cases, vinegar can be diluted with equal parts of water.
Scrub the surface with baking soda or soapy water
After allowing the vinegar to do its work, clean the freezer with either a baking soda solution (two cups of baking soda in a gallon of water) or soapy water.
Allow drying naturally
Finally, wipe away any excess baking soda solution or soapy water with a clean dry cloth and let the freezer air dry completely with the door open before plugging it in.
How do you keep mold from growing in your refrigerator?
Mold growth inside your refrigerator can be very concerning because it can pose a number of health risks. However, knowing how to prevent mold growth can really help you to mitigate all of the potential health risks.
To prevent mold from growing in your fridge, simply clean it thoroughly once every three or four months and stick to a cleaning schedule.
Furthermore, you must meticulously clean all of the nooks and corners of your fridge in order to eliminate any potential germs.
Make use of baking soda:
Putting a packet of baking soda in the fridge is another effective way to get rid of mold in the fridge. This will help to remove any bad odors from the fridge, which will prevent mold from growing inside of it.
You should also keep in mind that the packet of baking soda must be changed on a regular basis.
Tightly seal containers:
When storing food in containers, make sure the lids are tightly closed or sealed when placed in the refrigerator.
Furthermore, when storing any type of meat in the fridge, it should be placed in a plastic or glass container, or in plastic bags, and as much air as possible should be removed.
This will help to prevent mold from growing in your food, which will help to prevent mold from growing in your fridge.
Attempt to keep the refrigerator dry:
Moisture can cause mold to grow in your refrigerator, so keep it dry at all times. Furthermore, if there is any spillage or water anywhere in the fridge, water must be removed from each compartment to prevent mold from growing.
*** Read more: What Do Grocery Stores Do With Expired Food?
Frequently Asked Questions
#1. Can mold grow on food stored in the freezer?
Mold cannot usually grow in the freezer due to the freezing temperature, but there are some exceptions.
Furthermore, if the freezer is set to a temperature that is too cold, the freezer is likely to develop ice build-up on the upper side of the freezer.
This prevents the freezer door from closing properly, allowing air and moisture to accumulate on the food, eventually allowing mold to grow on the food in the freezer.
#2. Mold can grow in freezing temperatures.
Mold requires a warm environment, moisture or dampness, and organic materials to survive. In that sense, they will be unable to live actively in a frozen environment. They can, however, resurrect after the freezing temperature has passed.
Furthermore, mold, a fungal microorganism, will allow the spores to grow once the temperature, humidity, and moisture are favorable.
#3. Is it possible for food mold to cause house mold?
Food mold can become house mold under the right conditions and environments. Mold bread, for example, can release spores into the air that can be sucked into the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, causing them to circulate and grow throughout the home.
#4. Does a freezer kill mold?
Mold cannot be killed by freezing. Mold will never be killed by freezing or below-freezing temperatures.
Furthermore, mold will go dormant in freezing temperatures, but it will not be completely gone; rather, mold will wait for the right amount of humidity and the temperature to rise again before colonizing fully.
Furthermore, mold spores will never vanish unless you actively try to remove them from your freezer.
#5. Can you eat moldy food after it has been heated?
Because the majority of molds are heat-sensitive, they are destroyed at temperatures ranging from 140°F to 160°F (60°C to 71°C). However, because most mold toxins are heat-resistant, they may not be completely destroyed by exposure to high temperatures, such as cooking.
Finally, this post has addressed the question, “Can mold grow in the freezer?”
A freezer is a safe place for moldy food products. The kitchen appliance, however, cannot kill the mold; it can only deactivate it. More importantly, mold can grow in your freezer if it isn’t in good working order or if the door is constantly being opened and closed.
Use your freezer correctly and take good care of it, and it will take good care of your perishable foods!