Why isn't my frozen food frozen?
October 22, 2009 6:39 PM   Subscribe

FridgeFilter: I recently overstuffed my freezer and blocked the cold airflow, which partially defrosted some of the food in the far corner, away from the air. I have since restored the freezer temperature, but after several days, the thawed food isn't re-freezing. Why?

Details, should they be useful:

- Along with the overstuffed freezer, I noticed the temperature gauge had recently been turned to a warmer-than-usual level, which I also righted.

- I suspected my freezer was just plumb broke, but I picked up a thermometer that declares temperatures between 12 and 16 degrees.

- The food in question is a tub of slow-churned light ice cream (I kind of get how I may have permanently altered the molecular structure there) and a slice of pizza (no clue).

- Top-freezer refrigerator, GE Profile if it helps, 2001 model, in-freezer ice maker, no outside dispenser.
posted by werty to Food & Drink (3 answers total)
Well, even if it did freeze back, you can't eat it. Once thawed, never re-freeze. That said, the thawing probably let the grease out of the pizza, and the "unfrozen" feel is due to the greasiness.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:04 PM on October 22, 2009

Mr. Dame here

Freezers, and refrigerators, are meant to keep things cold, and aren't the best at making things cold. The other food in your freezer staid frozen, at least somewhat, so getting back to frozen wasn't a big change. The thawed out food, on the other hand, needs to refreeze and that much of a temperature decrease takes some more time.

Regarding whether or not the food is edible: assuming it was unthawed for only a short time (less than a day) it's probably safe to eat though the reforming of ice crystals will be severe, especially in the ice cream, so it will most likely be unpalatable (freeze burnt). The pizza will probably just have a soggy crust.
posted by dame at 8:19 PM on October 22, 2009

...even if it did freeze back, you can't eat it. Once thawed, never re-freeze.

The USDA disagrees.

OP, Is other food in the freezer staying normally frozen? Is the "far corner, away from the air" close to the freezer door? Could the door seal be damaged or, for some other reason, not sealing properly?

Also, I hope that isn't a Celsius thermometer...
posted by jon1270 at 1:24 AM on October 23, 2009

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