View Full Version : The frost in freezers... is it edible?

03-17-2004, 11:43 PM
I remember when I was a kid I used to try and scrape the frost out of the freezer to put into drinks but my mother would always intervene and stop me, saying it was quite toxic.

so what is the is the deal with freezer frost? :p

03-17-2004, 11:50 PM
It's just water ice. That said, it might not be very tasty, since ice absorbs food odors quite readily. But toxic? No.

03-18-2004, 12:04 AM
But toxic? No. Well, if you don't watch where you're scrapping, the stuff could contain frozen juices from uncooked chicken, ham, or beef, any of which could make you ill.

03-18-2004, 12:08 AM
Well, if you don't watch where you're scrapping, the stuff could contain frozen juices from uncooked chicken, ham, or beef, any of which could make you ill.

It could? It's frozen, there's not going to be any live bacteria in it.

03-18-2004, 12:10 AM
It could? It's frozen, there's not going to be any live bacteria in it.
There could be. Freezing doesn't necessarily kill the bacteria, it merely slows it down or causes it to become dormant.

03-18-2004, 03:09 AM
Bacteria are tough little bastards. Here are a couple examples:Salmonella refers to an infection that usually affects the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract and is caused by the bacteria Salmonella enteritidis. Infection occurs after eating contaminated foods such as meat, poultry, raw milk or eggs, or contaminated water. It is more common over age 70 or under age 20. Some pets can carry the bacteria. Salmonella survives freezing, but it is destroyed by thorough cooking. here (http://e-mds.com/healthinfo_view/i_00000007C9/) Listeria monocytogenes is a difficult pathogen to control. "It is very heat resistant, it grows even when refrigerated, and it survives freezing," he says.
Listeria monocytogenes is a common bacterium found in many foods, including meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables. here (http://purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/000714.Bhunia.listeria.html)

Freeze-drying (freezing, and then removing all the water by sublimation) isn't even enough to kill many types of bacteria.

03-18-2004, 06:06 AM
having said that, I am sure that "dont eat the freezer frost" belongs with all other momisms such as "watching too much TV makes you short sighted" and "brussels sprouts are good for you"- grain of truth but mainly aimed at controlling your life!

netscape 6
03-18-2004, 07:09 AM
I ate it all the time till I got frost free freezer. I did'nt get sick.

03-18-2004, 07:33 AM
In desperation I used it in some mixed drinks once, when we had run out of ice cubes.

It had picked up the flavours of the stuff that was in the freezer.


I won't do it again.

03-18-2004, 08:06 AM
Slightly OT, but a good friend of mine refurbishes/services commercial refrigerators in cafes and restaurants.

He seriously advises everyone NOT to order drinks with ice. The stories he has of how badly contaminated the ice often is, and the irregularity of servicing is truly chilling (bad pun!). As some learned Dopers pointed out, ice is an excellent medium for bacteria and the fact that the ice is often frozen and unfrozen just exacerbates the risk.

As a cite a brief google brings this up: link (http://findarticles.com/cf_dls/m3190/36_36/91567632/p1/article.jhtml)

03-18-2004, 09:14 AM
When I was growing up, our small-town grocery store had a whole aisle of the open, reach-in type freezers. I used to scrape my fingers through the accumulated ice and eat it. I don't recall my mom ever saying it was toxic, but she did yell at me for doing it nonetheless. Looking back and thinking of all the customers that reached in and out of those freezers, I can't say I blame her.

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