What Temperature Should a Refrigerator be at?

A refrigerator is the king of every kitchen interior. This item creates a special atmosphere and is an integral part of our everyday life, our family food traditions, parties and celebrations with friends and relatives. We use it daily and even can’t imagine how can we do without it. 

However we often forget that to have it working properly for a long time, we must take care of the temperature mode, cleanliness, and other parameters.

At present, it is very difficult to imagine the life of a modern person without a refrigerator, which helps to keep food purchased or cooked fresh for several days. A lot depends on the actions of the consumer himself. How he will place the food in different areas of the refrigerator and what temperature conditions he will set determines how long the food will be stored. But to do this you should know what temperature should be in the refrigerator.

1. What is the proper temperature for a refrigerator?

In the middle of the refrigerator, the temperature is maintained from +37 to +42 degrees Fahrenheit. These are optimal conditions for storing soups, vegetables, sauces, bread, and other products. At the bottom of the refrigerator, there are boxes or shelves for vegetables and fruits. The temperature here should be about 46 degrees F. 

There are special temperature standards that every refrigerator must meet. The consumer can regulate the temperature in the refrigerator or freezer, but he cannot overcome the minimum or maximum threshold set by the manufacturer. Since various products are stored at different temperatures, the refrigerator should give such an opportunity, and in accordance with this there are recommendations for filling the refrigerator. For example,  meat is perfectly stored at a temperature of +34 to +37 degrees. So it does not freeze and does not deteriorate so quickly. If you make the temperature higher, it will be spoilt faster, and if lower, it will freeze and after defrosting will become less juicy.

Sausages prefer temperature conditions from +35 to +41 degrees F.

Ready-made dishes are best stored at temperatures from +35 to +39 degrees F. Soups or other liquid dishes should be stored at +39 – +41 degrees F. At lower rates, they may freeze.

Vegetables prefer higher temperatures, from +39 to +42 degrees F. Boiled vegetables are best kept at temperatures of +37 – +41 degrees F so that they do not lose their nutritional value.

In order to preserve dairy products, such as kefir, cottage cheese, sour cream, milk, and butter, you should set the temperature in the refrigerator from +34 to +41 degrees F.

Eggs are stored in the same temperature range, with the exception of quail eggs – from 32 to +37 degrees F.

If we are talking about seafood and fish, we should remember that fresh fish loves temperatures from 32 to +35 degrees, cooked up to +39,  fresh seafood – from +39 to +42, cooked -up to +42 degrees F.

Exotic fruits should not be refrigerated because they like warmth. The remaining fruits are stored in temperature conditions from +39 to +46 degrees F.

The ideal temperature for storing cheese is from +37 to +41 degrees F, depending on the variety, fat content, and hardness.

It is better to keep bread and pastry in the refrigerator at a temperature of +37 to +41 degrees F. With a decrease of temperature, the bread becomes stiff; with an increase, it molds. Products with condensed milk, creams, cream or cottage cheese can be stored for a long time from -34 to +37 degrees F.

Mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard can be stored from 32 to +42 degrees F in closed packaging, and after opening – from +34 to +39 degrees F.

Thus, the temperature regime from +35 to +41 degrees is optimal for storing most products.

2. Are 42 degrees OK for a refrigerator?

Yes. It’s quite OK. The average optimal temperature for storing food is 37- 42 degrees F. Different temperatures are maintained in different parts of the refrigerator. This is done in order to be able to store different products at the same time. The higher, the colder.

Freshness zone or it’s also called zero zone is a compartment, which can’t be found in every refrigerator, but nonetheless, manufacturers place it in their models more and more often. The peculiarity of this department is that the temperature here ranges from 32 to 34 degrees. This allows you to stop the multiplication of microorganisms, while the products do not freeze and retain their beneficial properties, taste, smell, and color. All products must be in airtight packaging.

On the next shelf from the zero zone, the temperature ranges from +35 to +39 degrees F. Semi-finished products, meat, sausages, fish, milk, confectionery, eggs are stored here for a long time. On the refrigerator door opposite this shelf, there is an eggs compartment.

In the middle of the refrigerator, the temperature is maintained from +37 to +42 degrees F. These are optimal conditions for storing soups, vegetables, sauces, bread, and other products.

At the bottom of the refrigerator are boxes or shelves for vegetables and fruits. The temperature here should be about 46 degrees F.

3. Are 45 degrees cold enough for a refrigerator?

This is the maximum temperature for the refrigerator. But it’s definitely not cold enough for all types of products. So you should have a precise look at the content of your fridge and then decide, of course. Plus the surrounding temperature also affects the temperature conditions inside.

In general, the optimal range for storing most products fresh is from 37 to 42 degrees F. 

With proper temperature mode, you will definitely enjoy only fresh, healthy and tasty food from your fridge!

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Aaron Black
Aaron Black
Hey there! My name's Aaron Black. I’m 34 and I've been repairing fridges for 15 years. As you know, some appliances may be too dangerous to fix on your own as you, and I’m here to save your time, money, and, maybe, even your life! Because I'm the man with Experience. If you have any questions, you may contact me via e-mail: [email protected]

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