Why are things suddenly starting to go bad/sour/rotten in my fridge much sooner than they used to?
posted by CommonSense to home & garden (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
In the last couple of weeks, I've noticed that time seems to be running faster inside my refrigerator. Last night, I discovered that a bottle of V-8 (the low-sodium variet, if it matters) that I bought about 10 days ago looked kind of distended, and when I unscrewed the lid, a lot of air burst out -- fermentation of some sort, I figured. Still, only (about) 10 days after purchase? I've bought V-8 before, and I've been able to open it, use some, store it in the fridge -- rinse and repeat -- for something like two months without a hint of it "turning," let alone fermenting!
Another mysterious thing: There's this carton of "O Organic" 2% milk (Safeway store brand, also known as Von's, Genuardi's, etc. depending where you live) that has an expiration date sometime in mid-September. I'm always amazed at how far out their expiration dates are, and they tend to be accurate. Just this morning, I noticed it's smelling a little. Already. I bought it with the V-8, about 10 days ago, on the same shopping trip.
A little "thing" of yogurt, also from the same shopping trip, with an expiration date some time in early September, looked "fat" also -- the foil lid was rounded instead of flat, as if filled with air. Fermentation of some sort also.
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that some not-yet-at-expiration-date cream cheese was starting to show spots of discoloration/mold prematurely as well.
What the hell's going on? All of a sudden, things are going bad sooner, and as a single person who goes through food slowly, this is especially inconvenient.
A few bits of info, if it helps: I have a bit of a fruit fly problem in the kitchen, so I relocated a small bowl of fruit (previously on the counter) into the kitchen about a week ago to keep it away from those little buggers. Also, the icemaker on the freezer side has gotten really fussy lately -- it just plain stopped making ice about two weeks ago, but for some reason, toying with the little water pipe thing on the inside, and pulling the fridge out from the wall a couple of feet, made it work again. Also, at one point last week, there was a mildly foul/rotting smell in the fridge for about half a day, but it went away soon after I threw out a half-tomato in a Ziploc bag that had begun to go bad.
Is there some kind of . . . "contagion" effect? That is, if one or two things start to go bad in a fridge, then even if you remove them and throw them out, do . . . THINGS linger in the air of the fridge, attacking other things, even prematurely? I don't get it. It's like there's some kind of food-rotting ghost in the damn thing, and it's irritating me . . .