What to do if I accidentally left the fridge door open?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “What to do if I accidentally left the fridge door open?” with an in-depth analysis of what you should do if you accidentally left the fridge open?. Moreover, we will discuss the ways to prevent maximum damage that has occurred to the stuff stored in the fridge after you accidentally left the fridge door open.

What to do if I accidentally left the fridge door open?

If you accidentally left the fridge door open, then you should immediately unplug your refrigerator and remove and check food for viability. After removing the food manually defrost your fridge, even for no frost models. Wipe away the condensation inside the fridge. After defrosting, plug the refrigerator back in and run at max for 6 hours without anything inside. Check the temperature and return the food inside if the temperature is satisfactory.

What would happen if you accidentally left the fridge door open?

1. Moist Formation

When the door of the refrigerator is left open and unattended then air coming from the warm outside will mix with the cool air from the refrigerator and as a result, the whole fridge will be moist and everything else in the fridge will be wet.

Due to the nature of how a refrigerator works, the compressor in the refrigerator will start to run continuously because the sensors on your fridge will find it hard to reach the “cool” temperature to slow down, this also leads to even more moisture conditions.

2. Items in the fridge will start to be warm and food spoilage begins

The reason why we use refrigerators is the fact that we are trying to prevent any spoils from food, leaving the refrigerator open for a while, the temperature will start to increase and as a result, the food will start to become warm.

If the fridge is set to the right temperature and is cool enough, most of the foods won’t get spoiled, things like milk, bread, fruits, and vegetables won’t get spoiled.

However, some foods are really sensitive and you must examine them before you consume them. Anything that is classified as creamy has a shorter tolerance rateIin-depth and gets spoiled easily.

Depending on the time you left your fridge open, It is preferable to check every item before you consume it.

3. It will take longer to cool the refrigerator again

Now when you finally come back and close the fridge it will take longer than usual to get the fridge to get cold again due to the coils being frozen and a defrosting process would need to begin before the fridge gets cold again.

4. Nothing will happen to your refrigerator

Most people worry about the fridge getting damaged due to being left open, luckily, it is unlikely that your refrigerator will get damaged, as soon as you close the door the refrigerator will take a while to reset but once that is done then everything should be back to normal.

How long until food goes bad if a refrigerator door is left open?

The longevity of food kept in the refrigerator with the door opened depends on various factors such as: 

  • the type of foods, 
  • the temperature at which the refrigerator was running. 

The most obvious way to check if the food is not good to consume is to taste or smell it.

However, if you are extra health conscious it is recommended that you check the thermostat on the fridge and if the fridge was running below 105 Fahrenheit for more than 120 minutes then it is not advisable to consume the food.

How long can a fridge stay open?

Due to many different variables of refrigerators that are available in the markets along with several factors that count which include the type of foods that are in the fridge and the type of fridge you have, some refrigerators can keep food cooler for longer than other refrigerators.

The average time you can leave a fridge open without food spoilage is 60 – 240 minutes.

What happens if you leave the fridge door open overnight?

If left open too long, it can make the compressor overheat and shut off until it cools off or fails. But if your fridge is newer, it probably shuts off on its own if the door is left open for too long.

Should you immediately close the fridge door?

The longer the fridge door opens the greater the amount of cold air that falls out of the fridge and is replaced by room temperature air. The best thing to do is know what you want to get from the fridge, get it as quickly as possible and close the fridge door as soon as possible and leave it closed and properly check before leaving.

You can read how does refrigerator work here.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we have answered the question “What to do if I accidentally left the fridge door open?” with an in-depth analysis of what you should do if you accidentally left the fridge open?. Moreover, we have also discussed the ways to prevent maximum damage that had occurred to the stuff stored in the fridge after you accidentally left the fridge door open.

Citations:

https://removeandreplace.com/2016/04/11/refrigerator-door-was-left-open-now-fridge-will-not-cool/
https://applianceanalysts.com/refrigerator-door-open-is-food-safe/
https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/Our-refrigerator-door-was-left-open-overnight-Is-the-food-safe

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.