Blood culture bottles should never be refrigerated or frozen once they are inoculated. Refrigeration may kill some microorganisms. Freezing the bottles would not only kill microorganisms if they were present but would allow the fluid to freeze and the bottles to possibly break.
Blood culture bottles should also not be held at room temperature for more than a few hours so that growth is not impeded or delayed. Ideally, blood culture bottles should be placed into the incubator or automated blood culture system within 2 hours of collection.
A false-negative blood culture may result from refrigeration of inoculated blood culture bottles or delayed transport of blood cultures to the laboratory.