Keeping Cool…But Not Too Cool
Have you ever wondered about what temperature your fridge should be set at? Ever question what those numbers on the dial mean? Or are you one of the people that just open the fridge, feel the cool air and decide that is good enough? Either way we are here to clear up some questions and recommend taking a more serious approach to ensuring your refrigerator is running at the right temperature.
First off, why would it be so important to know what temperature your fridge is running at? Isn’t it just important that it is running cooler than room temperature? The answer is no. Your fridge is your best line of defense in the kitchen against food borne illness and bacteria spreading like wildfire across that leftover roast and potatoes. Food should be refrigerated within two hours to prevent the exponential increase of bacteria that can potentially make you and your family sick.
The sweet spot for a fridge to be running at is between 35-38 degrees Fahrenheit. Some official sites will simply recommend under 40, but at 32 foods freeze, so keeping it just above will protect your foods that aren’t meant to be frozen. That is what your freezer is for!
Newer refrigerator models are equipped with digital panels where you can check the temperature of your fridge any time, and it is important to do this frequently. If you have an older model with a dial that just has numbers, you will need to dig out that user manual and figure out what the numbers mean. As an extra protection and make it easier to monitor the temperature of your fridge, it is a good idea to get a free standing temperature gage to place in your refrigerator. This will help you make sure your fridge is always in the right range, and makes it possible for you to check the temperature in case of a power outage.
Make sure to follow some of the other important guidelines for helping keep your fridge a consistent temperature as well. This will help prevent the growth of bacteria and from wearing out your refrigerator more quickly. Minimize the times you open the door, and keep it closed and properly sealed whenever possible. Make sure to not understock or overstock your fridge. Keep the inside and outside of your fridge clean to make sure it is in proper working condition and to prevent any extra bacteria from growing inside by your food.