The Importance of Proper Refrigerator Temperature
When it comes to keeping food fresh and safe to eat, maintaining the right temperature in your refrigerator is key. But with so many different recommendations out there, it can be hard to know what temperature to set. In general, experts agree that the best temperature for a refrigerator falls somewhere between 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
Why Too Cold or Too Warm Temperatures are a Problem
If your refrigerator is too cold, it can freeze items like produce, milk, and even eggs, causing them to go bad more quickly or develop an unpleasant texture. Additionally, some bacteria that can cause illness, such as Listeria, can survive and even thrive at very low temperatures, which means that even if your food is frozen, it might not be completely safe to eat. On the other hand, if your refrigerator is too warm, bacteria can multiply more quickly, leading to spoilage and even illness.
How to Check and Adjust Your Refrigerator Temperature
If you’re not sure what temperature your refrigerator is set to, you can check using a thermometer meant for refrigerators. Place the thermometer in a glass of water and let it sit in the refrigerator for several hours before reading the temperature. If the temperature reads too high or too low, you can adjust the temperature on your fridge accordingly.
Other Tips for Keeping Your Refrigerator Working at its Best
In addition to keeping your refrigerator at the right temperature, there are a number of other steps you can take to keep it running efficiently and effectively. Some of these include: cleaning the coils regularly to help the fridge run more efficiently, not overfilling the fridge to allow for proper air circulation, and storing items in the right places (for example, storing produce in the crisper drawer).
Maintaining the proper temperature in your refrigerator is crucial for ensuring that your food stays fresh and safe to eat. By keeping it between roughly 35 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit, you can prevent your food from freezing, reduce the risk of harmful bacteria proliferating, and extend the shelf life of your groceries. Make sure to also follow other best practices for keeping your fridge running smoothly, such as cleaning it regularly and storing items properly.