The refrigerator, originally developed in the 1800s, is truly a miracle of modern food preservation. Keeping food chilled properly, at the right temperature, allows them to last longer and stay fresher. And by sticking to the ideal temperature, you can avoid some potential foodborne diseases and bacteria, as well. However, as the temperature rises in your fridge, bacteria can start to multiply (this tends to begin at 4°C). not all bacteria are bad, but not all of them are good, either. To ensure the quality and freshness of your food, and to reduce the risk of food poisoning, it’s important to keep your refrigerator maintained and at the perfect temperature. So today we’re going to discuss how cold your fridge needs to be!
How Cold Should my Fridge Be?
The recommended fridge temperature is below 4°C. the ideal range is between 1.7°C to 3.3°C. this range is as close as you can get to freezing without being so cold your food will freeze. The ideal temperature for your freezer is -17°C, for example. It is also as close as your fridge temperature can get to the 4°C threshold at which point bacteria will begin to grow and multiply. Higher temperatures can cause your food to spoil quickly and could result in dangerous bacterial growths like salmonella or E.coli. Here is our guide to fridge temperatures:
4°C Fridge Temperature:
The recommended temperature for a fridge is below 4°C. Any temperature above 4°C may cause bacteria to grow quickly. These bacteria include dangerous bacteria, such as salmonella or E.coli.
1.7°C to 3.3°C Fridge Temperature:
This is the ideal temperature range for your fridge. 1.7°C to 3.3°C is below the safety threshold of 4°C and above the range where the food would freeze. It is also not uncommon for your refrigerator to be a few degrees off the temperature you set, so err on the side of setting the thermostat on the colder side. This will help ensure your food doesn’t spoil and create food safety issues.
-17°C and Below Fridge Temperature:
At this temperature, the food in your fridge or freezer will start to freeze. Keep your food above this temperature to ensure it doesn’t freeze.
How Do I Measure the Temperature of My Fridge?
We recommend you purchase a cheap, freestanding appliance thermostat for your fridge. You can place it inside the fridge for around 20 minutes and then check the reading. If you are at or close to the ideal temperature, perfect! If not, you will need to adjust the fridges temperature control panel.
While some fridges do come with their own gauges, not all fridge gauges are accurate. It’s not uncommon for gauges to be a few degrees off the mark. Some fridges simply don’t display the temperature at all. All you can do is adjust the fridge and freezer temperatures on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10. Without a thermometer, you can’t know what those numbers translate to in real degrees.
This is why buying a thermometer is helpful. Once you know what temperature each number on the scale reads, you can better adjust the fridge to prevent food spoilage.
How Can I Keep My Fridge Cool?
If you’re finding your fridge keeps getting warm, despite you setting it to the perfect temperature, you need to consider how you’re using your refrigerator.
Cool Food Before Putting it in the Fridge
Hot leftovers of soup or roasts can quickly heat up the small space in your fridge. This puts your food at jeopardy of rapid bacterial growth. To protect all the food in your fridge, including your leftovers, let the food cool a for a bit before covering it and storing it in the fridge.
Check the Fridge Door Seals
Your fridge has gaskets around the edge of the door to keep the cold temperatures in and the warm temperatures out. If there is a leak in one of the gaskets, the cold air may be escaping. As a result, that can make cooling the fridge properly more difficult and use up more electricity. And this can result in a painful electric bill. John’s Refrigeration and Air Conditioning can help you check your gaskets and replace them, where possible, to ensure that your door is properly sealed.
Don’t Open the Door so Often
Ever been told off by your parents in summer that you’re letting the cold air out and the hot air in, whenever you came inside or went outside during the day. That it was making the air conditioner work more? The same is true of the fridge. Every time you open the refrigerator door, you let the cold air out and the hot air in. As a result, you need to resist the temptation to stand in front of the fridge, searching for something to cure your cravings. Just grab what you came for and shut the door very quickly!
A Full Fridge is a Happy Fridge!
When a fridge is full, the temperature is able to stay cooler for longer. As a result, the fridge is able to keep foods cooled best if the shelves and drawers are mostly full. When your fridge is empty, every time you open and close door, you cycle most of the air in it, replacing the cool air with warm air, which then has to be cooled all over again. A full fridge, however, has less air that will be cycled and re-cooled. Further, all the item in the fridge may also reduce airflow, meaning less air will be exchanged whenever the fridge door is opened and closed.
Don’t Over Fill Your Fridge
While a full fridge is perfect for keeping your fridge at the perfect temperature, packing it too tight will restrict circulation and air flow throughout your fridge. As a result, the fridge needs to work harder to keep things at the right temperature. And jamming things into the fridge can block up air vents which will lead to a host of new issues, including temperature and moisture issues. It can also cause food to spoil more quickly.
Are you concerned about your fridge not maintaining the correct temperature, even when you’re not over stuffing or keeping it too empty? Do you have issues with the seals and gaskets around the door of your refrigerator? Is your thermostat not working and your fridge is always too hot? Call the team at John’s Refrigeration and Airconditioning today. Our technicians are experts in residential and commercial refrigeration systems, ensuring you get the best repairs and maintenance work every time. Call us now!