How cold should a refrigerator be | Guidelines to follow

How cold should a refrigerator be

Refrigerator temperature should be at 35°F (1.7°C) and 38°F (3.3°C), so your food can remain fresh and bacteria-free.

In my personal experience, I always try to set my refrigerator according to the FDA guidelines.

In this article, I will elaborate on how cold should a refrigerator be in terms of the safety of food.

Table of contents

  • How cold should a refrigerator be
  • How to Measure an Accurate Temperature
  • How to Keep Your Fridge and Cool
  • Conclusion
  • FAQS

How cold should a refrigerator be

To keep your food safe and fresh, set your refrigerator to a temperature between 35°F (1.7°C) and 38°F (3.3°C).

This is a proper FDA guide to knowing how cold should a refrigerator be kept.

This temperature range is perfect for preventing bacteria and other microbes from growing in perishable goods. Additionally, it aids in preserving the foods’ nutritional content and quality.

If the temperature is set too low (below 32°F or 0°C), some products, especially those near the back of the refrigerator or in the coldest spots, may freeze, which may not be ideal for some foods. On the other hand, raising it too high could hasten the deterioration of food.

It’s a good idea to use a thermometer inside the refrigerator to check the temperature on a regular basis to make sure it’s working at the proper temperature.

You can buy a cheap refrigerator thermometer to install inside and verify the readings if your refrigerator doesn’t already have one.

Also, keep in mind that to maintain frozen goods correctly, the freezer section should be adjusted to around 0°F (-18°C). The of this detail you can find in how to organize refrigerator.

You can easily keep your food fresh, safe, and prepared to consume by keeping the refrigerator and freezer at the proper temperatures.

How to Measure an Accurate Temperature

You can use these steps to measure a temperature accurately and to understand how cold should a refrigerator be kept.

Choose the Right Thermometer:

The suitable thermometer can be chosen from a variety of models, including digital, analog, infrared, and probe thermometers. Simple digital thermometers are frequently adequate for checking the temperature in your refrigerator or freezer.

Thermometer placement is important:

If you’re checking the temperature inside a refrigerator or freezer, put the thermometer in the middle of the appliance, far from any walls or objects. This will provide you with a more accurate reading of the appliance’s general internal temperature.

Give the Thermometer Time to Stabilize:

Give the thermometer some time to settle in the intended spot and register the correct temperature. Depending on the situation, a stabilization period’s length may change.

Keep the Door Closed:

Keep the refrigerator or freezer door closed while you wait for the temperature to stabilize. By letting warm air in, opening the door, the measurement’s accuracy may be impacted.


If at all possible, calibrate your digital thermometer to ensure accuracy. If your thermometer allows for calibration, see the manufacturer’s instructions. If calibration is required, make the appropriate corrections according to the specified instructions.

Check Consistency:

For how cold should a refrigerator be kept, you need a more accurate reading, and take several measurements on several days and at various times. This will make it easier for you to see temperature changes and make sure your freezer or refrigerator is keeping a consistent temperature.

Compare with Recommended Settings:

Check the appropriate freezer and refrigerator temperature settings in relation to the recommended levels for food safety. To make sure your appliance is functioning within the safe range, compare your measured temperature with these suggestions.

Consider External Factors: 

The location of the refrigerator (e.g., whether it is exposed to direct sunlight or is close to a heat source), the ambient room temperature, and other considerations should all be taken into consideration.

You may precisely gauge the temperature of your refrigerator, freezer, or any other object or environment you need to monitor by following these instructions and utilizing a dependable thermometer.

How to Keep Your Fridge and Cool

The safety of your food and how cold should a refrigerator be depends on keeping your refrigerator and freezer cool. Here are some pointers to assist you in doing that:

  • Setting the right temperature:

Set your freezer to about 0°F (-18°C) and your refrigerator to a range between 35°F (1.7°C) and 38°F (3.3°C). To make sure the temperature stays within this range, use a refrigerator thermometer.

  • Location:

Keep your freezer and refrigerator away from direct sunlight and heat sources like stoves, radiators, and ovens. The appliances may need to work harder to keep cool temperatures due to high ambient temperatures.

  • Proper Loading:

Don’t fill the refrigerator and freezer to capacity. The cooling process can be hampered by packed shelves that block ventilation. Make that the door seals are secure when closed and in good condition.

  • Avoid Door Openings:

Reduce the quantity and length of time you open the freezer and refrigerator doors. Warm air can enter frequently, forcing the appliances to work harder to cool off again.

  • Check the Seals:

Regularly look for any evidence of wear or corrosion on the door gaskets (rubber seals). To avoid cold air leakage, replace them if they are not sealing properly.

  • Defrost Frequently:

To retain maximum cooling effectiveness, defrost your manual defrost freezer frequently. Inefficient ice buildup can insulate the freezer, making it less effective at keeping food frozen.


These suggestions will assist you to control how cold should a refrigerator be to maintain cool temperatures effectively, keeping your food safe and fresh. For best refrigerator we’ve provided suggestion for you on best undercounter refrigerator.


Is 5 degrees cold enough for fridge?

Yes, a refrigerator can function at 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit). A refrigerator should typically be kept between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius (34 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit). Perishable foods are protected from bacterial growth at this temperature, and the quality and freshness of the stored goods are preserved.

How cold should a refrigerator be kept?

As previously stated, a refrigerator should be kept between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius (34 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit). The freshness of the food is maintained while bacterial growth is slowed by this temperature range. Utilizing a thermometer to check the temperature and make any adjustments

How cold should a refrigerator be kept in Celsius?

Usually, a refrigerator is set to a temperature between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius. For optimum food preservation, it’s normally ideal to keep the refrigerator between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius, while specific models may offer a somewhat larger temperature range.

Is 7 °C too warm for a refrigerator?

Yes, a refrigerator would be regarded to be excessively warm at 7 degrees Celsius (44.6 degrees Fahrenheit). 7°C is outside of the acceptable range for refrigeration. At this temperature, bacteria in perishable foods grow more quickly, causing food deterioration and possibly even foodborne diseases. The fridge’s temperature must be adjusted to fall within the given recommended range of 1 to 5 degrees.

Is a refrigerator cold at 1 degrees Celsius?

Yes, 1 degree Celsius (33.8 degrees Fahrenheit) is inside the acceptable temperature range and is cold enough for a refrigerator. At this temperature, perishable goods are kept in the refrigerator at an excellent, secure level, delaying bacterial growth and maintaining the items’ quality. 1 degree Celsius is a suitable and secure setting for a refrigerator as long as the temperature does not go below freezing (0 degrees Celsius).

shahzoon naz

shahzoon naz

Shahzoon Naz is a freelance Content Writer. He spends most of his time in the kitchen, you will see him in the kitchen and every time cooking something new and tasty.

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