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I accidentaly switched my freezer off for a week. This lead to spoilage of food, pool of blood inside freezer etc. Trays are unremovable and difficult to clean. I have thrown everything away and tried cleaning with baking soda, bleach etc but smell hasn't fully gone.

I'm assuming its just the smell of blood and I don't want to buy a new freezer straight away. If I freeze food in the meantime
1. will it absorb odours?
2. If it does will the food be safe to eat?
3. Can you suggest how else I can clean the freezer or should i go and buy a new one?


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It is possible that the odor has penetrated into plastic parts in the refrigerator. – Michael Karas Jan 20 '13 at 18:18
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Not worth the risk, just throw it out. There's no way to tell whether the smell was absorbed, or comes from bacteria in the food itself.

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Food placed in a freezer with bad smells will definitely absorb odors, unless it's in very very airtight containers/packages. It won't make it unsafe to eat, just very unpleasant.

As Michael said in his comment, the odor is likely in the plastic now, so it's going to be pretty hard to get rid of. You'd want to clean every last trace that you can - use brushes for hard to reach places, use whatever cleaning products you need to help dissolve caked on stuff. After that, all you can really do is let it air out until it doesn't smell too bad - door open, preferably some moving air (outside would be best). It's hard to say exactly how long it will take or how successful it'll be; that depends on all the details. Depending on how porous the plastic his, how nasty whatever soaked into it is, and how long it had to soak in, things could vary widely.

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Plastic is similar in chemical composition to fat molecules. That is why plastic containers tend to hold odors and colors from foods placed in them. If you had fatty foods in the freezer that leaked, they could have bonded with the plastic molecules, making the resulting stains and odors very difficult to remove.

A perfunctory google search should help. The link below is for plastic containers, but some of the solutions should work for a freezer as well. Once it is as clean as you can get it and refrozen, most of the odors should be suppressed. Don't forget to toss in a box of baking soda and replace it regularly.

How to clean plastic containers

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