Best Refrigerator Temperature to Keep Food Fresh

Last updated: October 20th, 2022

Refrigerators have been one of the best inventions that mankind has ever witnessed. It helps us keep our food fresh for extra days and reduces food wastage by a huge percentage. However, we are aware of the technology that refrigerators utilize but one of the aspects that we are often ignorant about is the refrigerator temperature.

Most of us don’t have an idea about the optimum temperature in a refrigerator. If the temperature goes above a certain limit, then the bacterial growth would increase exponentially. To keep your food fresh and avoid food poisoning, you need some knowledge about refrigeration temperature. This is what we are detailing today.

Ideal Temperature in a Frid

Scientific Research by F.D.A has confirmed that for best results, the refrigerator temperature has to be less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. For the freezer compartment, this is below 0 degrees.

These are the theoretical limits but practically the temperature of the fridge has to be within 35 and 38 degrees F. This temperature will make the food cold but not so cold as to freeze it. Any temperature above this range might result in the growth of Salmonella and E.Coli Bacteria. This would undoubtedly lead to stomach pain.

Measuring Temperature in a Fridge

If you have a very old refrigerator without a thermometer or even a defective thermometer, then there is no point in adjusting the temperature. First of all, you need to obtain an accurate measurement of the temperature. Purchase a freestanding thermometer from any store.

Place the thermometer on the fridge and after 20 minutes, measure the temperature. If the temperature does not fall within the recommended range, then use the control panel to adjust it.

Tips to Keep the Fridge Cool

Avoid putting Hot Food

Hot food will increase the temperature inside the fridge and thereby spoil other food items as well. Moreover, the time it takes to cool is long. Therefore, wait for the food to cool, possibly down to room temperature before placing it inside the fridge.

Don’t Overcrowd the fridge

Store a limited amount of food in the fridge, else there won’t be sufficient room for the cold air to circulate.

Open the fridge only when needed

Many of us are guilty of repeatedly opening the fridge for every small reason. This allows the hot air to enter inside. Also, shut the door quickly after opening. If you open fridge more frequently, buy mini refrigerator.

Check Door Seals

Leakages in the door seals(Gaskets) will also cause temperature fluctuations. It will result in leakage of the cold air and as a result, the fridge becomes less efficient. You need to hire a professional to fix this issue.

Ensure Clean Coils

The refrigerator coils absorb heat from the fridge and freezer and release them outside. Dust buildup on the coils will affect their efficiency. Therefore, you should clean the coils with a brush regularly.

Where to store in a Fridge

Top Shelves

Ideal for storing leftovers and snacks. Also, easy to access the food.

Refrigerator Door

Spices, Sauces, and powders should be stored here since they are less sensitive to temperature variations.

Lower Shelves

These shelves are quite cool and items that spoil easily like milk and meat ought to be stored here.

Butter Compartment

Just as the name hints, butter should be stored here. This area remains cool even when the door is opened.

Crisper Drawer

Humidity control is possible here and it is best for keeping fruits and vegetables.


We hope you may have gained an idea about the optimum temperatures to be maintained in a fridge. Moreover, different food items are best kept in different sections of a refrigerator as well.


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