Is Your Refrigerator Freezing Your Food? | Common Causes & Fixes to Eliminate Frozen Food in Your Refrigerator


Opening your fridge to find that your food is frozen is always a disappointment. If your refrigerator has been freezing your food, there are some things you can do to resolve the issue on your own.

The first thing you should do is look at the temperature settings on your fridge. If the temperature is set too low, this is most likely the source of your problem. The recommended temperature for a refrigerator is at or below 40°F. It is important not to have your temperature set too high, because it can easily become a place for bacteria to live and multiply.

If adjusting the settings of your fridge appropriately does not eliminate this issue, then it’s time to identify specific places inside the fridge where this is happening. Common places for this to happen include: the bottom of the fridge, the top shelf and the shelves on the door. If this is only happening in one area, then it is important to keep temperature sensitive foods away from that area. In most fridges, you will find a cooling vent above the top shelf or on the side. If the area where this freezing is taking place is near a vent, then you want to make sure you are keeping all food about 5 in. away from it. If the area where this problem is occurring is a shelf on a door, it may be helpful to raise or lower the level of the shelf depending on where the cooling vent is.

Some older side-by-side refrigerator models have a vent that funnels the air from the freezer back into the fridge. The outlet for this funneling is usually found on the wall separating the freezer from the fridge. To prevent this from affecting your food, rearrange the levels of the shelves inside the fridge so that the cold air isn’t directly reaching the food.

If you have a bottom-freezer model, then this is most likely the result of air being vented from the freezer. If this is still happening even after you rearranged shelves and moved food away from vents, the freezer may be the issue. If your freezer is lower than 0°F, it is too low and needs to be set for 0°F. Turning off your ice maker when it is not needed can be a solution, because having it on all the time can make your freezer too cold, causing the food in your refrigerator to freeze.

After investigating the issue on your own, your refrigerator will hopefully be operating smoothly again. If you are still experiencing this issue even after making changes, it may be a mechanical issue and you should contact the manufacturer for further assistance.

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