Does mold in a refrigerator contaminate everything that is in it, such as bottled ketchup, jellies, mustard, etc.?
By gammashops from Atlanta, GA
I suppose it depends on how much mold there is. In one frig I had, I constantly had black mildew growing on the fan in the back, and if I didn't clean that off regularly, it might spread to the outside of ketchup bottles or something like that. I used to just wipe them down with dilute bleach. Usually it was only on the label, anyway. It didn't get on the contents. If you had layers of fuzzy growth, I would pitch the stuff out. Really, if the stuff is tightly closed, the contents would be fine, but you might find it difficult to clean the outside if the mold growth is excessive.
Only what the mold is on is contaminated. Do not eat any of it & throw it away, so you will not get sick.
I think the first thing to be concerned about is the fact that there's mold in your refrigerator at all! It's really a worry, so you need to find out exactly where it came from, what it's on and get rid of it completely. Yes, diluted bleach is a good start, and so is vinegar (but do NOT us it with the bleach). Check the rubber gasket around the door. Is there mold or mildew in that? Then take an old toothbrush, dip it into the diluted bleach and then scrub all the grooves and edges until they're completely clean. Then, take another old toothbrush, and repeat it! Don't forget the gasket on the bottom, either (I know, bummer!).
Always save food in closed containers, not just wrapped in plastic and stuck on a shelf. Mold spores are teensie, and it only takes one. When you want to use something, take it out of the fridge before you open the container. That way, if it has mold on it, it won't be released inside the fridge, but on the counter or in the sink, which can both be cleaned easily.
I sure hope you get rid of it. Nobody wants their appliances to be the topic of a science fair project! Good luck.