What is the Ideal Temperature for a Refrigerator?

The ultimate aim of the refrigerator is to keep the food items stored in it fresh and to enhance their shelf life. The ideal refrigerator temperature is 37 degrees Fahrenheit, and this is good enough to keep the food items fresh and in a good state for an extended period. The temperature of the freezer compartment should ideally be at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and this is enough to preserve the food items completely frozen.

Every refrigerator has temperature controls that range from 1 to 5 or 8, with 1 being the coldest and 5 being the warmest. And to complicate things further, some of the new-age refrigerators have digital controls to set up precise temperature settings. So at temperature should be refrigerator be set, to preserve its contents to the fullest extent.

Ideal Temperature for a Refrigerator

The Ideal Temperature for the Refrigerator

The Food and Drug Administration of the United States that we should keep the temperature of the refrigerator below 40°F. But the ideal temperature to set the refrigerator should be between 35° and 38°F. Such a temperature range will neither freeze the food items nor will spoil them. This will prevent the bacteria from multiplying rapidly inside the refrigerator.

Refrigerator temperatures between 35° to 38°F, could be too high if the fridge’s built-in temperature is not accurate. In such temperatures, the food might spoil quickly and result in some stomach troubles, through bacterial multiplication such as E-Coli or Salmonella.

The Ideal Temperature for the Refrigerator Freezer

It is ideal to keep the temperature of the refrigerator freezer close to 0°F if you are not adding a lot of warm and new food items. Some of the freezers will have the option for flash freezing. It will be able to drop the temperature of the freezer for about 24 hours, to avoid the freezer burns, owing to the temperature variation.

If required, you can opt to decrease the temperature of the freezer manually, for a few hours. But you should remember to set it back to the normal temperature so that you don’t have to run high on the utility bills. This will also cause the food items to lose their flavor and moisture.

Also, if the freezer has a lot of built-up ice, it signifies that the freezer temperature is very cold. You can also refer to the temperature chart, for its printable guide on temperature guidance, and hang it in a place where you can easily see, it to alter the temperatures accordingly. 

Refrigerator Temperature Guide

1. At 32 degrees: Below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the food will start to freeze. Users should keep the temperature about 32 to prevent this. If they want the food to be frozen, they can use the freezer.

2. Between 35 degrees and 38 degrees: This is the ideal temperature to maintain in the refrigerator. This temperature is below the safety threshold given by FDS and above the freezing point. This temperature will avoid the food from spoiling quickly. It will also eliminate all potential food safety issues. 

3. At 40 degrees: According to the FDA, the temperature in the refrigerator should be below 40 degrees.

4. Above 40 degrees: If the temperature in the refrigerator is above 40 degrees, then it will allow the bacteria present in it to multiply rapidly.

How will I know if the temperature set by me in the refrigerator is accurate?

Not all the temperature gauges in the refrigerator are accurate. You might keep the temperature in the refrigerator set at 37 degrees Fahrenheit, but its actual temperature could either be higher or lower. It is not uncommon for the refrigerators to have a few degrees off the mark you set. Also, most refrigerators do not display the temperature at all, and generally, they will allow the users to set the temperature over a 5 or 7-point scale. 

The best way to attain the ideal temperature in the refrigerator is with the help of a refrigerator. Place the thermometer in the refrigerator or the freezer and leave it in its place for about 20 minutes. If you find that you have not reached the ideal temperature, set the controls again and measure the temperature. 

Quick tips to maintain the ideal temperature of the refrigerator

If you find that the temperature in the refrigerator is too warm, despite taking all efforts to adjust the temperature settings, you can take the following steps to maintain an ideal temperature.

  • Cool the food before transferring it into the refrigerator.
  • Check the door seals, sometimes the gaskets at the edge of the refrigerator could leak and let the warm air inside.
  • Do not open the doors of the refrigerator often.
  • Keep the refrigerator and the freezer always full, to trap in cold air.

Final Words

If you want to achieve optimal food preservation techniques, make sure to maintain the ideal temperature of the refrigerator. Hope the following tips work in preserving the perishables optimally in the fridge.

Hi, I'm Douglas Cassius, I have worked with many brands that manufacture freezers and refrigerators, so here I will be sharing that knowledge and helping HomeyCart readers.

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