Fridge temperature - Doc

What is the correct temperature range for the fridge section on a fridge/freezer?

With a recommended set point of 5 C, I am getting measurements ranging from 1.0 C to 7 C throughout the day.

This seems to me to be an excessive range.

Does the auto defrost have a bearing on the large fluctuation, and is 7C safe?

Edited by Doc on 21/03/2017 at 16:16

Fridge temperature - RobJP

You say that you are 'getting measurements' from 1 to 7 C, but don't say how those measurements are being taken, or whether the thermometer being used is accurate or not, or if not accurate, how inaccurate ... even where in the fridge the measurements are being taken will have a huge bearing on the readings you get, along with how often the fridge is opened, how long it is open for ...

Basically, if it keeps stuff cold, then it's working. If stuff starts freezing, then it's working too well (and needs adjusting). If stuff isn't cold, then it needs to work harder (and needs adjusting)

Unless you've got a certified calibrated thermometer in use, then getting into too much precision is pointless.

Fridge temperature - Doc

I am using a digital fridge thermometer together with a calibrated liquid in glass thermometer. Measurements are taken at the top/rear.

I don't think "if it keeps stuff cold, then it's working" is good enough for food safety.

Fridge temperature - RobJP

Bear in mind what the fridge is doing - it is designed to slow the multiplication rate of bacteria.

Virtually all foods will have bacteria on them, to some extent. In small numbers, they're harmless, and the immune system in your body will wipe out the intake quite easily.

However, in large quantities, they can overwhelm an immune system (hence why people with compromised immune systems, which are more easily overwhelmed, have to be very careful with foods).

Bacteria multiply really well - roughly doubling every 20 minutes - at about 33-37 C. Below about 10C, they do really badly though, doubling (roughly, it depends on the species of bacteria) every 12-18 hours.

So having the fridge 'cold' is good enough.

Fridge temperature - concrete

Most of the older refridgerators had quite inaccurate thermostats. That is why we kept a thermometer inside ours to monitor temperature. We had a dial with numbers 1 to 6 and we found that number 4 kept the temperature at an even 5C. I believe that most foods to be stored chilled are fine up to 10C, but a few degrees lower than that is desirable. Our AEG has a display on the outside face of the door which tells us the inside temperature. This occasionally fluctuates from our setting of 4C up to 7C depending on how much it has been opened and what other automatic operations it is conducting.(self cleaning, air filtration)

From being a child when my mother kept everything in a larder to the first 'fridges to the new better built and controlled models I have never had an issue with the 'fridge causing the food to turn bad. It has always been the human error which caused the problem, keeping things far too long or forgeting about them at the back of the 'fridge. I would not worry too much over this, especially as you already monitor your 'fridges interior temperature.

Cheers Concrete

Fridge temperature - RT

I believe fridges should be between +2C and +5C but I've never seen a specification that states where in the fridge it should be measured - from my own checks it's quite easy to get a 7C spread from top to bottom.

Our home fridge, is adjusted to give +5C where the beers are, just above the salad drawers - our touring caravan has to be adjusted warmer, at +7C to avoid the freezer elements frosting up which warms the fridge up - we've never noticed any difference in food quality or life - it's just the beers are less cold!

Fridge temperature - sandy56

If the food in the fridge is cool/ cold then it is working.

Life is too short to worry about your fridge.


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