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Why Are Foods Prone to Quicker Freezer Burn in a Refrigerator Freezer?

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Question: Why Are Foods Prone to Quicker Freezer Burn in a Refrigerator Freezer?
Foods stored in a refrigerator freezer will burn out much more rapidly then if stored in a chest freezer. But you can take measures to prevent food loss.
Answer: More than one factor affects the quality of foods stored in a refrigerator freezer as opposed to a chest model:

Refrigerators today have a wonderful automatic defrost feature which operates periodically to prevent ice from building up inside the freezer compartment.

However, during this process, the freezer temperature is not held constant but fluctuates. Moisture is also drawn from the foods during this process, contributing to quicker freezer burn. Hence why ice cubes tend to shrink and quality is affected.

We also tend to retrieve foods from, or 'explore' what's inside our refrigerator freezer compartments, more often then we do from the deep freeze model. This creates additional temperature fluctuations.

We can safeguard and limit freezer burn by taking a few simple steps:
  • Keep your refrigerator freezer organized, foods labelled and dated to make retrieval quicker.
  • Double-wrap these frozen foods.
  • Clean your freezer compartment regularly, rotate and use foods up quickly.
  • If possible, store only those food items that will be used in the short-term in a refrigerator freezer, and place other foods in a chest or upright freezer.
Many of today's upright freezers also have an automatic defrost feature, as opposed to chest freezers which are generally manual defrost. The same factors also contribute to quicker food deterioration.

See Care and Maintenance for tips on how to improve your freezer's operation and performance.

To understand what freezer burn is and to learn how to freeze foods properly, defrost safely and how to keep foods in the freezer:
Freezing Food and Freezer Food Safety
What is Freezer Burn - Causes

For tips on buying, installing and caring for a freezer:
Freezer 101
Install a Freezer for best convenience

Promotional Feature: View this video series to learn how to take good care of your house.

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