Effects of Refrigeration on Food

Refrigeration is a technique used for food preservation in low temperatures. This procedure slows down or stop most bacteria from dividing and thereby multiplying, but does not kill them.

The history of the refrigerator began in the 1920s. In the 1920s and ’30s, consumers were introduced to freezers when the first electric refrigerators with ice cube compartments came on the market. Basic fridges can now be purchased for about half their selling prices in the 1920s. In Kenya, refrigerators are not so common. Leftovers are either thrown away, eaten or shared with neighbours to finish them off because leaving food for long hours would mean rotten food. However, the cheap prices on some of these fridges have led to a steep increase in the purchase of these electricals. With the advent of technology, various inventions like refrigerators were made and various lifestyle diseases started surfacing. Is there a link between the two?

Refrigerators are for more than just chilling your water on sunny days, or giving you ice for a drink. They are supposed to slow down the growth of bacteria such as salmonella, e-coli, and botulinum in food. When this natural process is interfered with, it can lead to health problems like food poisoning and others.

Contamination of food

If you place juicy foods like raw meat on the upper shelves, juices from the meat can drip and contaminate the food placed below. This food when consumed can cause serious stomach infections and problems because of the reactions with meat juices.


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An overstuffed fridge can lead to little to no air ventilation in there because of which the food neither stays fresh nor free of bacteria. Eating food from an overstuffed or overcrowded fridge can lead to stomach problems like diarrhoea.

Fridge temperature

If you are one of the most people who do not check their fridge temperatures, stands in front of the fridge with the door open trying to figure out what to eat, then it makes for another reason why you should not eat the food you refrigerate. Bacteria are believed to thrive in temperatures about 0 degrees celsius, so it is important to ensure that the temperature is above this level, at least 4 degrees. Standing with the door open also lowers the temperatures and insects or germs can enter the refrigerator. Eating food that has a large number of bacteria in it can cause stomach infections and deteriorate your health over a long time.

Dirty fridge

The busy lives people lead give them little time to clean their bodies, let alone their refrigerators. Dirty refrigerators can be host to insects like cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes that can contaminate your food in your absence. Who knows what goes on in the fridge after the door is closed?

Eating contaminated food can cause gas, stomach aches, infections, diarrhoea, or even food poisoning.

Book a consultation with a nutritionist here.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.

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