With the price of everything rising, groceries included, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re doing everything you can to preserve your food. Keeping your favorite foods fresh while supply chain issues and TikTok challenges continue to cause food shortages is also a must.
Plus, keeping your fridge and freezer at the right temperatures is the best way to best way to keep bacteria from growing. Bacteria can cause foodborne illnesses like Clostridium perfringens, salmonella, and Campylobacter. Here’s how to fix your fridge’s temperature:
The FDA recommended that you monitor your refrigerator’s temp with a thermometer, even if your fridge has one built-in. Consumer Reports tested several newer model fridges and some gauges were off up to 5 degrees. “To ensure that your refrigerator is doing its job, it’s important to keep its temperature at 40 °F or below; the freezer should be at 0 °F,” the FDA website states.
However, others think that 40 degrees is too high. And granted, bacteria grows most rapidly above 40 degrees, so if your fridge is off by just a little bit, your food could be in the dreaded “danger zone.” So, what’s the sweet spot? 37 degrees Fahrenheit for the fridge. This temperature should keep your freshies fresh, while not freezing your produce or milk.
Buying a fridge thermometer could save you a lot of headaches (or tummy aches, for that matter) and are relatively cheap. There are digital thermometers with big screens that are easy to operate. And, there are analog thermometers that should read accurately within a few seconds of being placed inside your fridge.
If your fridge temperature is inching uncomfortably close to 40 degrees, definitely consult your fridge’s manual to change temps. Some fridges have a dial with “cold” “colder,” and “coldest” as options. Others use one-five to denote temperature level, with five being the warmest. And newer model fridges sometimes have a digital readout with pluses and minuses to reach your desired temp.
Keeping your fridge cold enough will help keep your food as fresh as possible and will help keep your family safe. Make sure to keep your fridge mostly stocked but not overcrowded. Check your fridge’s gaskets regularly, and keep the door closed as much as possible. Altogether, these things will keep your fridge working optimally.